US Coast Guard photo
I don’t normally comment on CO reliefs. You can never know the full story looking in from the outside, and this is certainly the case here, but something is going on in the 13th district.
The Navy Times is reporting, Cdr. John Bitterman, commanding officer of the cutter Steadfast since July, “was fired for loss of confidence on Monday in the midst of an ongoing investigation…”
This seems to be a bit different, in that Cdr. Bitterman is claiming he is being fired not because of his performance, but because he reported the unsatisfactory condition of his ship, “… it was in such a state of disrepair — with moldy mattresses, lead contamination, bad decking —— that he asked his leadership for money to fix things up…His requests were denied…and the mix of the ship’s condition, the high operational tempo and the crew’s already rock-bottom morale led to his temporary relief.”
I have to wonder, is this going to be a trend? Steadfast is a 47 year old ship, and actually one of the newer 210s. Currently planned production of the Offshore Patrol Cutter suggest the last 210 will not be replaced until 2028 at which time it will be at least 59 years old.
Perhaps the Coast Guard will have to acknowledge, at some point, that they will have to retire ships without replacement.