Greeneville skipper
reprimanded by the Navy

The commander will be allowed
to remain at the helm of the sub

By Gregg K. Kakesako

The skipper of the nuclear attack submarine USS Greeneville has been reprimanded because his vessel collided in January with an amphibious transport ship in the Indian Ocean -- the third incident in little less than a year.

Cmdr. Lindsay Hankins, Greeneville captain, will remain at the helm after receiving a letter of reprimand at an admiral's mast earlier this week for "negligent dereliction in performance of his duty." Four other crewmen -- two officers and two enlisted men -- also were punished.

Lt. Cmdr. Kelly Merrell, Navy spokeswoman, said she could not release their names or ranks because of privacy reasons. Besides Hankins, the Navy issued letters of reprimand to the officer of the deck and the contact coordinator.

Merrell said the fire control technician of the watch, an enlisted sailor, was given 30 days of restriction, will forfeit a half-month's pay and was reduced in rank one grade for six months. The other enlisted sailor -- a radar operator -- also was given a 30-day restriction and reduced in rank for six months.

The Greeneville suffered $200,000 in damage to its stern plane stabilizer and will be released from drydock today after undergoing six weeks of repairs.

Cmdr. William Edwards, skipper of the USS Ogden, was reassigned due to the Navy's "loss of confidence in his ability to command" following the Jan. 28 collision. The investigation into that portion of the collision is ongoing in San Diego, the Navy said yesterday.

The Greeneville collided with the Ogden off the coast of Oman while preparing to transfer two sailors. The 362-foot submarine suffered a scrape about 6 inches wide and 4 feet long in its starboard quarter, and temporary repairs were made.

The nuclear attack submarine returned to Pearl Harbor on March 3 after a nearly seven-month deployment and went into drydock April 16.

The submarine was repaired at Pearl Harbor after an accident on Feb. 9, 2001, when the Greeneville struck the Japanese fisheries training vessel Ehime Maru about nine miles south of Diamond Head. Nine of the 35 men and boys aboard the Ehime Maru died.

Greeneville Cmdr. Scott Waddle was reprimanded by a military court of inquiry and allowed to retire. Repairs to the submarine cost more than $2 million.

On Aug. 27, while trying to enter the Saipan seaport in rough seas, the Greeneville ran aground, causing damage that cost $120,000 to repair. That accident prompted the Navy to remove the Greeneville's skipper, Cmdr. David S. Bogdan.

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