From the New York Times

25 March 2014

2 Killed in Shooting Aboard Destroyer at Norfolk Naval Base

by 

By Emmarie Huettemanmarch

 

WASHINGTON — Navy officials on Tuesday were investigating a shooting on a guided-missile destroyer docked in Norfolk, Va., that left a sailor dead along with a civilian believed to be the gunman.

The shooting occurred about 11:20 p.m. on Monday at Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base, prompting a lockdown that lasted about 45 minutes.

Naval security struggled with the suspect, a civilian, on an upper deck of the Mahan, a guided-missile destroyer, according to a statement posted on the base’s Facebook page. The suspect, who did not have a weapon, was able to disarm an officer and shoot a sailor who was responding to the confrontation. Security personnel then killed the suspect.

You can read the rest of the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/26/us/2-killed-in-shooting-aboard-destroyer-at-norfolk-naval-base.html?hpw&rref=us

Asks Charles McCain: “How does an un-armed civilian get aboard an operational US Navy warship in the heavily guarded Norfolk Naval Base, grab a pistol from a US Navy security guard, then shoot a sailor to death before US Navy security guards kill the perp?”

Photo released by LCDR Joel Stewart, SPAO for Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1). Contact at: stewartjo@ddg72.navy.mil or 757-443-8659

guided missile destroyer USS Mahan  DDG72

(and named for the Mahan you are thinking of. This is an official US Navy photograph)

While the military is always sensitive about criticism from civilians, such as I, as a taxpayer I would like to know how a sailor on one of our warships was murdered in cold blood?

My prediction: we will get nothing but BS from the Navy as the Admiral’s Mutual Protection Society gets into high gear. “Impossible to prevent this act,” they will say. “No one’s fault.”  Citizens will be promised a thorough investigation. “We will get to the bottom of this,”Admiral Blowhard will say. “Will issue a full report to the public. No cover-up.”  Half the report will be redacted.

Have there been a series of security glitches like this in Norfolk before? I will bet you a dollar to a doughnut there have been, some of which were probably in the report just released by the SecDef on 18 March 2014  about the shooting in the Washington Navy Yard.

That report, an independent panel to a degree, said the danger to military personnel is more from other military personnel than people from outside. I think most of us probably figured that out a long time ago.

Will there be an independent panel to investigate this incident or will the US Navy do it? If so, we will only see that report if the lawyers representing the family of the sailor shot to death pry it out of the military. I presume this will end like the case of Bradly Manning, a Private First Class, blamed for downloading super secret files from the Dept of Defense and the US Department of State, for which he did not work, or have access to in anyway and which isn’t connected to the military in some common computer system.

Nonetheless this one PFC managed to do this and his corporal, sergeant, lieutenant didn’t notice on odd thing. Really? I presume in this instance with the murder aboard the USS Mahan, some low-ranking person will be thrown to the wolves and  that person’s division officer or supervising petty officer will continue with their naval careers.

And all the Admirals will be found to have done an outstanding job. Meanwhile, civilians like me are thinking:   you can just walk up the gangplank of a US Navy warship? I had no idea. Cruise ships have gates on their gangplanks. At the entrance on the dock. Not our US Navy.

Did the Captain of the ship and the executive officer and the senior petty officer aboard all do what they were supposed to do when posting security guards and overseeing their work? Were the young sailors assigned, probably at random, to act as security guards properly trained? Were they qualified through the formal process the military has to use the weapons they were carrying? If so, how did the perp get the pistol from the sailor?

Maybe we should hire Wackenhut to guard our ships if the US Navy, one of the armed forces, can’t manage to do it. As a taxpayer I am astonished at this and sad for this young man who died. An innocent young sailor is killed because someone (who had to produce at least one form of ID to get on the base says the Navy!!) walked up the gangplank of the USS Mahan and shot him? Is this the best we can do to protect these young men and women who are serving? If so, it is a sad day.

Note to US Navy spokeswoman, Beth Baker, who was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “Civilians who enter the base must show at least one form of identification…”

Ms. Baker, if you read the newspapers, you will learn that almost anyone can get a fake official I.D. of some sort including a drivers license, at least 10% of which are forged already. And, once again from what I have read in the Washington Post and New York Times, it isn’t even difficult or expensive.