Letter to the editor

Although most people in the United States are unaware, there is a new class of nuclear submarine in production that is even more dangerous that the deadliest nuclear submarine in the U.S. inventory. It is a prototype, if you will -- the first of a fleet of new machines for a government program already sold and delivered. Loaded with cutting-edge technology, this machine would have no rival.

Unfortunately, the program is set to fail. On paper, the design is sheer genius. The problem lies not with the design, and not with the architecture. The problem lies with the engineering and production. The production order required exact specifications, exact dimensions and materials. It required prolonged testing to ensure all systems operate as designed. Each system had to be isolated and tested individually for compatibility. But these tests were never performed. The limitations of the vessel would never be known before the maiden voyage.

In order to meet the demands of the Navy Department, and to fulfill its contract, the initial launching of the vessel is hurried. Once at sea, it quickly becomes obvious that the shortcomings of the engineering and production teams now become the problems of the crew. System failures occur randomly. Glitches and vulnerabilities become apparent. To meet the deadline set by the Navy Department, a critical system-monitoring function was never installed.

When these failures are brought to the attention of the command, the crew is ordered to apply "quick-fix" Band-Aids to the deficiencies, which only worsen with time. The crew makes repetitive requests to the command for critical supplies required to remain "mission-capable". All requests are denied, thereby leaving the fate of the prototype sub, AND the project, in the hands of an overworked and undermanned crew. Somehow, they manage to keep it afloat -- for now.

To make matters worse, the submarine in question is being commanded by a rogue command -- a small group of corrupt individuals who guide a powerful machine with their own ulterior motives inspiring them. Despite the best interests of our nation, they set their own course -- someplace where, eventually, through the use of their strategic positions, they hope to become very rich and very powerful.

Initially, the crew members voiced their concern, most of them veterans of other tours aboard other vessels. Some of honorable character even questioned the intent of the command. But these few individuals were soon dismissed, relieved of their duties and replaced by those considered less resistant. Immediately, complaints from the crew diminished. Some department heads decided to "jump ship" just to escape the corrupt command.

This may sound like a review of a Tom Clancy novel, but it is not fiction. I admit that I know nothing more about the Navy than what I've seen on television, and even less about submarines. But that doesn't matter. The events I've just explained are real. Everything I just mentioned is happening right now. The only variables here are the nuclear submarine and the command. The nuclear submarine is the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, and the command is EDS.

Name withheld by request


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