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Force Protection failure in Greece: RCN ship vandalized


NST had provided security the last time an HMC ship was in that port. Apparently no measures in place this time around.

Facebook comment from a former NST NCO:

''Lots of silly comments from people who think they know all about Force Protection. First, when we stood up NST in the exact same port we had two check points and a guarded gate with spike strips and Greek police manning those gates. Second, you would never open fire on people especially if the threat triangle isn't complete. Not sure how they got so close to the ship with the normal security measures in place, but it happened and it was only paint. However, this is exactly why you secure the jetty prior to a ship coming alongside using CAF and local authorities. De-escalate as best as possible and then use non-lethal force such as your fire hoses rigged on the upper decks.......trust me, they will stop someone
😉
.....ask ST....lol.''


Some context from a more friendly Greek:

''Alright... As a Greek-Canadian (served both in the Greek and Canadian army) I would like to apologize. Those guys are fuckin morons and stupid as fuck!
In 1932 Russia would give huge amounts of money(in other words fund) KKE(those fucking cunts who thru the paint), So one day they would "rule" Greece. The Greek army didn't let that happen and thru a lot of them in the jail.. So since then they can't stand the sight of any military uniform. Whenever they see anything that has to do with military they throw paint cans.
Sorry for my bad English!''
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Seriously. "Some paint got on the ship" is not in any way shape or form indicative of a lack of adequate intelligence or accurate threat assessments. I really don't get why everyone seems hell-bent on treating this event like it's some sort of major catastrophe.

You have got to be kidding us with that post? We were just freakin' LUCKY that it was just paint.....please tell me you don't plan on leading by 'luck'?
 

Furniture

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Seriously. "Some paint got on the ship" is not in any way shape or form indicative of a lack of adequate intelligence or accurate threat assessments. I really don't get why everyone seems hell-bent on treating this event like it's some sort of major catastrophe.
If the ship took no steps to defend itself, even just saying "Hey, get away from the ship!", or "Don't approach the ship!" that is a failure of the basics of FP.

I haven't sailed since 2017, but even way back then the FP duty watch was briefed on what to do. Hell, as a Duty Cox'n I knew part of my job was to to rig the upper deck firehoses if there was a FP threat that didn't need C8s, or Sig P225s.
 

btrudy

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You have got to be kidding us with that post? We were just freakin' LUCKY that it was just paint.....please tell me you don't plan on leading by 'luck'?
I don't plan on leading by assuming that literally everything is a deadly threat, regardless of all evidence to the contrary.
 

KevinB

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I don't plan on leading by assuming that literally everything is a deadly threat, regardless of all evidence to the contrary.
I’m glad your omniscient and have the foresight to know all.
 

Underway

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1. The RCN does take force protection seriously. I can only speak to my experience on that same deployment.

Every single duty watch on the East Coast you are required to do a force protection exercise AND a damage control exercise once per day in home port. This isn't always done in foreign ports because there is a second, more robust force protection component normally stood up and run by either the PlansO, WpnsO or OpsO, and they are not part of the duty watch. ROE is read and briefed by the FP officer at the start of every watch for the duty watch and the FP component. There are three C7 armed sentries on deck at all times, and the brow watchkeeper carries a pistol.

2. Normally in a foreign port you rely upon locals to provide the external security line and deal with locals themselves.

3. There's usually not much distance between you and the public if you are not at a secure jetty. Just some fencing.

4. No idea if NST was at the port, it might have been only ships company.

5. ROE requires the threat triangle to be closed. You do not shoot people for crossing a red line even if they are protestors (the red line is for work safety not ship security). You close the jetty and keep them off the ship. You do not shoot foreign civilians who are carrying plastic bags.

6. What other actions did the FP take, maybe they did use loud hailers, or the ships horn, or yelling warnings to get away, closing the brow, going to emergency stations etc... Did they take no actions at all? Were they to slow to respond or unaware of the situation. If the protestors casually sauntered up to the ship were FP asking them what they were doing or calling the police? I don't know.

7. During RAMP we has NST onboard and they were very slick. As the initial post pointed out check point at the bottom of the jetty and sentries along the ship. Very professional and thorough.


Final thoughts on this:

Yes, this is very concerning and embarrassing. I'm looking forward to the investigation report and finding out what really happened.

Whoever had the rifle in their hands did the right thing to not pull any triggers. Canadian warship shooting civilian protestors would not have provided the best outcome to this situation for all involved.

However, if FP had pulled the trigger I would also have considered that the right decision until further investigation proved otherwise. Like all ROE situations, the person behind the rifle makes the decision based on the information they have at hand. They are the commander on the ground. I will not armchair general them.
 

Lumber

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My concern is that the situation drastically changed in the last 30 days - and it seems to me, like the RCN has more of less ignored that.
Agin my point is that Security needs to be a stand alone primary task - as a secondary duty on a warship means they most likely will be doing primary functions when being a warship...
I don't mean this in any way to be insulting, but I don't think you understand how a ship operates; we don't do Force Protection and "warshippy things" at the same time. We have, and we can, such as in a narrow strait transit in a large body of water, but just generally, it doesn't happen.
 

Lumber

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People seem to be getting really worked up about this event and sharing a lot of strong opinions, when in reality you have no idea all the events that lead up to this happening.

The posture of the ship, both in terms of what FP component elements were stood up as well as the "posture"/mindset of the individual members of the team, would have been highly influenced by the threat assessment and the briefing of the FP officer (the OpsO).

If you are claiming to know what the content and quality of those threat assessments is, then you are either lying and should stay in your lane, or you are telling the truth, in which case you should be shutting you mouth for OPSEC reasons.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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People seem to be getting really worked up about this event and sharing a lot of strong opinions, when in reality you have no idea all the events that lead up to this happening.

The posture of the ship, both in terms of what FP component elements were stood up as well as the "posture"/mindset of the individual members of the team, would have been highly influenced by the threat assessment and the briefing of the FP officer (the OpsO).

If you are claiming to know what the content and quality of those threat assessments is, then you are either lying and should stay in your lane, or you are telling the truth, in which case you should be shutting you mouth for OPSEC reasons.
It's true and all we have to go off is the video footage. The video footage isn't very flattering though and I have a lot of questions. I am certain they will be answered in due course.

I don't think anyone here knows what the TAs actually say. We can take an educated guess though 😎.
 

Kat Stevens

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Seriously. "Some paint got on the ship" is not in any way shape or form indicative of a lack of adequate intelligence or accurate threat assessments. I really don't get why everyone seems hell-bent on treating this event like it's some sort of major catastrophe.
Holy fuck, man, a breach is a breach. Yes, it was just paint. This time. And what if next time it's something slightly more volatile? I have no idea what your intent is when you cross three different lines of escalation headed toward my position.
 
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MJP

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People seem to be getting really worked up about this event and sharing a lot of strong opinions, when in reality you have no idea all the events that lead up to this happening.

The posture of the ship, both in terms of what FP component elements were stood up as well as the "posture"/mindset of the individual members of the team, would have been highly influenced by the threat assessment and the briefing of the FP officer (the OpsO).

If you are claiming to know what the content and quality of those threat assessments is, then you are either lying and should stay in your lane, or you are telling the truth, in which case you should be shutting you mouth for OPSEC reasons.


1. The RCN does take force protection seriously. I can only speak to my experience on that same deployment.

Every single duty watch on the East Coast you are required to do a force protection exercise AND a damage control exercise once per day in home port. This isn't always done in foreign ports because there is a second, more robust force protection component normally stood up and run by either the PlansO, WpnsO or OpsO, and they are not part of the duty watch. ROE is read and briefed by the FP officer at the start of every watch for the duty watch and the FP component. There are three C7 armed sentries on deck at all times, and the brow watchkeeper carries a pistol.

2. Normally in a foreign port you rely upon locals to provide the external security line and deal with locals themselves.

3. There's usually not much distance between you and the public if you are not at a secure jetty. Just some fencing.

4. No idea if NST was at the port, it might have been only ships company.

5. ROE requires the threat triangle to be closed. You do not shoot people for crossing a red line even if they are protestors (the red line is for work safety not ship security). You close the jetty and keep them off the ship. You do not shoot foreign civilians who are carrying plastic bags.

6. What other actions did the FP take, maybe they did use loud hailers, or the ships horn, or yelling warnings to get away, closing the brow, going to emergency stations etc... Did they take no actions at all? Were they to slow to respond or unaware of the situation. If the protestors casually sauntered up to the ship were FP asking them what they were doing or calling the police? I don't know.

7. During RAMP we has NST onboard and they were very slick. As the initial post pointed out check point at the bottom of the jetty and sentries along the ship. Very professional and thorough.


Final thoughts on this:

Yes, this is very concerning and embarrassing. I'm looking forward to the investigation report and finding out what really happened.

Whoever had the rifle in their hands did the right thing to not pull any triggers. Canadian warship shooting civilian protestors would not have provided the best outcome to this situation for all involved.

However, if FP had pulled the trigger I would also have considered that the right decision until further investigation proved otherwise. Like all ROE situations, the person behind the rifle makes the decision based on the information they have at hand. They are the commander on the ground. I will not armchair general them.

There have been very few on point comments in this thread and in true Army.ca fashion the forum has blown up, analyzed, and criticized the FP actions (or lack thereof) surrounding the incident with no real clue what went went down. Nothing wrong with healthy discussion but some in this thread seem to think the sky is falling because of some incident.

Thanks to Lumber & Underway for some great reality check posts.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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There have been very few on point comments in this thread and in true Army.ca fashion the forum has blown up, analyzed, and criticized the FP actions (or lack thereof) surrounding the incident with no real clue what went went down. Nothing wrong with healthy discussion but some in this thread seem to think the sky is falling because of some incident.

Thanks to Lumber & Underway for some great reality check posts.
All true but Kat has the bottom line...

Holy fuck, man, a breach is a breach.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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There have been very few on point comments in this thread and in true Army.ca fashion the forum has blown up, analyzed, and criticized the FP actions (or lack thereof) surrounding the incident with no real clue what went went down. Nothing wrong with healthy discussion but some in this thread seem to think the sky is falling because of some incident.

Thanks to Lumber & Underway for some great reality check posts.
You're right, some of these comments are unfair. Some of them haven't been taken well. Some of them are overly critical.

But......

Some of us have been critical of the way the Navy does this stuff before. The problem we have is that it always gets downplayed and the Navy ends up reverting back to status quo.

This is the attitude that has the Force teaching and using antiquated UoF techniques, Using antiquated equipment and not following Industry Best Practices.

The Navy has spent some money WRT NST and NTOG to improve some things but it seems to always be a case of one step forward, two steps backward.


P.S.

For the record, nobody needs to be fired over this. It would be a lot better if the Navy adopted more of a culture like the Air Force has WRT Flight Safety.

Rather than seeking to blame someone, figure out what we did and didn't do well and figure out how to do better next time. It's not about assigning blame, it's about improving performance.
 

dimsum

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It would be a lot better if the Navy adopted more of a culture like the Air Force has WRT Flight Safety.
Bingo.

But, that would take a complete re-work of the "naval" culture. I've been on both sides and I know it's far better to do so, but when some people say "the Air Force has habits, not traditions" with a straight face, I'm not holding my breath that change will come.
 

KevinB

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I don't mean this in any way to be insulting, but I don't think you understand how a ship operates; we don't do Force Protection and "warshippy things" at the same time. We have, and we can, such as in a narrow strait transit in a large body of water, but just generally, it doesn't happen.

So you have never had to put a hostile boarding team over somewhere while conducting other operations?

I get the shore FP is different as you probably aren’t going to conduct an opposed docking. But the point I’ve been trying to make is yes, you do need a separate ‘red shirt’ security team, who is trained and positioned for both LL and L responses.

The other aspect is unlike other nations Navies you don’t have LRAD or Dazzlers as LL stand off options. I’ve seen the firehose teams work, and I think it’s a poor facsimile of a valid LL response.

My experience with RCN boarding work is very dated (90’s) and I was equally appalled back then.

There was a 12’ fence and 50m of jetty between the original crowds and the ship.
The fact no one did jack shit throughout the incident is pretty telling.
 

Halifax Tar

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So you have never had to put a hostile boarding team over somewhere while conducting other operations?

I get the shore FP is different as you probably aren’t going to conduct an opposed docking. But the point I’ve been trying to make is yes, you do need a separate ‘red shirt’ security team, who is trained and positioned for both LL and L responses.

The other aspect is unlike other nations Navies you don’t have LRAD or Dazzlers as LL stand off options. I’ve seen the firehose teams work, and I think it’s a poor facsimile of a valid LL response.

My experience with RCN boarding work is very dated (90’s) and I was equally appalled back then.

There was a 12’ fence and 50m of jetty between the original crowds and the ship.
The fact no one did jack shit throughout the incident is pretty telling.

So right now a CPF holds around 254 bunks, give or take with configuration.

We already take on secret squirrels, Air Det and NTOG (for portions) and a chaplain and a JAG and a PAF O during deployments. Which cuts about 50 people of the core crew.

We also no inject lots of trainees which taxes the watch rotation further.

What more do we cut ? To make room for more good idea ferry positions.

We have the teams for this already NTOG and NST. Utilise them.

The question here is primarily how the protesters got access to the jetty. I've been to Piraeus a few times. Its always been closed and guarded.

The response of the ship will come out in the report, but the fact we don't have a half dozen dead Greeks for some thrown paint is a small victory.
 
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