Navy secretary censures officers for failures in fatal disaster at sea

ByAnn Erika

Jun 16, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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The Navy Department has issued letters of censure to five army officers, which includes a retired three-star normal, in response to a disaster at sea that killed 8 Marines and a U.S. sailor, officials explained Monday.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, who oversees the Navy and Maritime Corps, took punitive action after reviewing a army investigation into the sinking of an amphibious assault auto off the California coast in July 2020. The investigation located that insufficient coaching, complacency by Marine Corps officers, and a delayed, chaotic rescue effort and hard work contributed to the nine deaths.

Del Toro censured some officers who were being eradicated from their employment soon just after the sinking, but expanded culpability to contain Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, who was about to action down and retire the working day the disaster occurred. Osterman was “responsible for mitigating the inherent challenges in functions and schooling,” Del Toro wrote, and “did not thoroughly recognize the possible negative impact” of the coronavirus pandemic on the 15th Maritime Expeditionary Unit, which fell less than his command.

“The Marine Corps requires its leaders to execute the mission, even in seemingly insurmountable situations,” Del Toro wrote in his letter to Osterman, dated Sunday. “You failed to discover and mitigate the human, materials, and training failures that resulted in this mishap. Appropriately, you are censured for failing to proficiently ensure correct stages of training and substance readiness in models below your command.”

Fatal Maritime Corps disaster at sea was ‘tragic’ and ‘preventable,’ investigation finds

The other officers censured consist of Maritime Col. Christopher Bronzi, then-commanding officer of the 15th Maritime Expeditionary Unit Navy Capt. Stewart Bateshansky, who oversaw an amphibious task concerned Navy Capt. John Kurtz, then-commanding officer of the USS Somerset and Lt. Col. Keith Brenize, then-commanding officer of the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion. All held leadership roles, and Kurtz oversaw the ship from which the motor vehicle was launched whilst at sea.

Navy Capt. Jereal Dorsey, a spokesman for Del Toro, claimed in an electronic mail that the secretary decided to make the determination following a “careful review of the command investigations and conversations with senior leaders” in the Navy Department.

The censured officers could not immediately be achieved for comment.

The Marine Corps formerly observed that the 35-calendar year-old armored car — intended to have Marines ashore in battle — endured numerous leaks and came from a fleet of motor vehicles that was in bad situation. Strains created by the pandemic challenging the teaching schedules of the Marines involved, the service located.

The lifeless integrated Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 18, of Corona, Calif. Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, Calif. Pfc. Evan A. Bathtub, 19, of Oak Creek, Wis. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, Calif. Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Ore. Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, of New Braunfels, Tex Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Tex. Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 18, of Portland, Ore. Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, Calif.

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