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From the Navy Post.   http://www.navytimes.com/article/20130403/NEWS/304030024/Four-fired-marooning-minesweeper-ocean-reef

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Four fired for marooning minesweeper on ocean reef

.Navy Times

Four fired for marooning minesweeper on ocean reef

The Navy fired the former commanding officer of the now-stricken mine countermeasures ship Guardian along with three of his officers after an investigation determined they “did not adhere to standard U.S. Navy navigation procedures,” the Navy said Wednesday.

Lt. Cmdr. Mark Rice, the ship’s CO, was fired Wednesday by Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley, the commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7. The reliefs came while Rice and his crew were to take charge of the replacement ship, the minesweeper Warrior, which arrived last week in Sasebo, Japan.

The reliefs included the second-in-command, Lt. Daniel Tyler, who also served as the navigator; the assistant navigator; and the officer standing watch as the officer of the deck at the time of the grounding. Officials declined to release the names of the other reprimanded junior officers, citing privacy laws.

“All four sailors were relieved by Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley due to their role in the grounding and a loss of confidence,” the Navy’s press release said.

They have been temporarily assigned to ESG-7 pending the completion of the investigation.

The reliefs complicate the picture of the Jan. 17 grounding in the Philippines, which officials have so far blamed on an error on a digital chart that incorrectly plotted the Tubbataha Reef eight nautical miles from its actual location. Guardian ran hard aground and the crew of 79 was removed without injury. But the months-long saga, as Guardian’s fiberglass and wood hull pounded furiously against the coral while experts attempted to extricate it, was covered for weeks in the press and angered locals because the damage occurred in a National Marine Park, which has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

The 7th Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Scott Swift, apologized four days after the incident.

The minesweeper was decommissioned on March 6 in Sasebo, Japan. Navy divers finished sawing through the hull and craning the cut-apart hull off the reef on March 29.

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The US Navy You Tube channel has posted some videos of the final stages of the USS Guardian dismantling and removal.

If  you would like to see what it is like to cut up US$ 277 million of US Navy assets with a chainsaw, take a look by clicking the following pictures or links below.

EX- GUARDIAN (MCM 5) Removal - Bow

EX-GUARDIAN (MCM) Removal – Bow

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EX- GUARDIAN (MCM 5) Removal - Midship hull

EX-GUARDIAN (MCM) Removal – Midship hull

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EX- GUARDIAN (MCM 5) Removal - Stern

EX-GUARDIAN (MCM) Removal – Stern

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Video 1 – Bow Section     – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E30RQ-0wDE

Video 2 – Midship Section – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5zUD3w9X9I

Video 3 – Stern Section    – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0RKpy3hID4

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This is the view that everyone has been waiting to see at Tubbataha Reefs…….again.

Ex-Guardian salvage

It appears that with the removal of the Stern Section of the USS Guardian, that all major parts have been lifted from the Tubbataha Reefs.

Ex-Guardian salvage

Ex-Guardian salvage

Ex-Guardian removal

All involved seem to have done a first class job to achieve the target of removing the minesweeper by the end of March. No doubt there will be seabed surveys and the clearance of small fallen debris that will need to be done, but that work should soon be completed.

All in all we should be happy that the reef has been returned to some sort of quiet normality within less than three months of the grounding.

Now we just have to wait for 250 years for the Reef to fully recover !

Tubataha Reef Damage 1000 square meter

Better Late than Never !

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Hull section removal from Ex-Guardian

Hull section removal from Ex-Guardian

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Removing the bow of the mine countermeasure ship Ex-Guardian

Removing the bow of the mine countermeasure ship Ex-Guardian

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