When Defense Contractors Hire Losers

USS Cowpens arrives in San Diego, April 2013. The captain would be relieved a little over a year later. This is the ship that had one of the bogus bomb threats last year.

When defense contractors hire losers, hilarity ensues. Briefly. It’s not very funny when it all finally shakes out. Two laborers on Navy contracts in San Diego just got indicted for separate incidents of bomb threats.

Why bomb threats? They weren’t terrorists, or trolls. They just were lazy, and wanted paid time off work while the Navy chased its tail over bogus threats. It’s all a grand lark until the grim guy in the suit is talking about plea bargains and Federal prison — and he’s your lawyer.

Two men who have worked as Navy contractors face potential prison time and fines for making bogus bomb threats that resulted in mass evacuations of naval ships moored on San Diego Bay in recent months.

Joshua Rice, 26, and Roberto Rubio, 22, were arrested and arraigned in federal court Wednesday. The two San Diego residents each face up to five years behind bars and a $250,000 fine if convicted of issuing hoax threats.

Rice is charged in a grand jury indictment with reporting to Navy security personnel that he saw the word “bomb” scrawled inside of a portable toilet near three vessels docked at Naval Base San Diego on the morning of May 17, knowing there was no true threat.

At the time, Rice was working for American Marine, a ship repair and rehabilitation company.

Rubio is charged separately with writing “9-24-16 400 bomb” on an interior wall aboard the USS Cowpens, a guided-missile cruiser, on Sept. 24 and reporting the phony threat to another contractor. Rubio was then employed as a welder for Navy contractor BAE Systems.

via 2 Contract Workers Charged in Series of Bomb Threats at Navy Base – Times of San Diego.

The USS Cowpens is a Ticonderoga-class cruiser that bears the name of a Revolutionary War victory — and a WWII light carrier. But it didn’t really need any more bad publicity, after a romantic entanglement with one of his subordinate officers led the Navy to sack the captain (and his girlfriend) a couple of years ago.

It could have been worse. A few years ago, a high-functioning autistic guy hired to do some painting in the Portsmouth Navy Yard started a fire on the boat he was working on, USS Miami. The fire essentially destroyed the billion-dollar boat, and the loser got more time off than he was counting on — about 17 years in Club Fed.

Now, you might ask why defense contractors hire such losers in the first place? We can explain, and it only takes one word: money. From a Beltway contractor point of view, every dollar “wasted” on the people that actually provide the service you are selling in the contract, is a dollar that can’t be “invested” in the sort of inside-Beltway drones that secure the contract in the first place. So most DOD contractors are incentivized to provide the lowest quality workforce for the highest per-hour cost (to the Government; 90% of it stays in-Beltway). And so you have incidents like this, not just in 2016 like these current defendants, but every couple of years.

15 thoughts on “When Defense Contractors Hire Losers

  1. Keith

    And in the meantime millions like me can’t find a good job with a living wage, insurance and retirement benefits.

    Keep your powder dry and your faith in God.

  2. DTG

    The two hoaxers are getting off light….even with 5 years and $250,000 in fines. As for the “Captain” and his paramour, well, that’s why you don’t put men and women together for 6 months at a time in a confined environment. The term, “Propinquity Effect” comes to mind….

  3. DTG

    Those two clowns are getting off light….as for the ‘Captain’ and his XO, well, does an;y logical mind expect anything less than what occurred, given the ‘Propinquity Effect’? Not a defense, by any means, but it’s another reason why we shouldn’t put young (ish) men and women in a confined environment for 6 months at a time…

  4. Boat Guy

    Coed ships just give SWO’s another option when it comes to f*cking their subordinates; they can do it literally instead of figuratively.
    Sandy Eggo ship “repair” if it’s not done by bluejackets supervised by khaki is a losing game regardless. NASSCO has always been a crummy yard; dunno if SIMA is still any good but back well before coed ships and all the other vibrant crap the Fleet’s been getting their work was the only work I trusted.

    1. robroysimmons

      Mid 80s in the MC I served with a guy who out of HS worked at the San Diego yard for a contractor, said it was a total fraud on materials and his total lack of expertise, yet the contractor got paid. I believe it was the Constellation that he worked on so if any problems with any copper lines were found out mid-80s on that might be him.

  5. Mike_C

    Boy, the Cowpens can’t catch a break, can she? Wasn’t Holly Graf a prior CO?
    And while a person can’t be blamed for their name (unless it’s some stupid thing they made up), what were the LCDR’s parents thinking to give her a porn/stripper name?

    1. Boat Guy

      Yup. Some ships are just hard luck; though the abusive nature shown by Graf is certainly not isolated in a “community” known for “eating its young” – she just brought some “diversity” by lacking (I think) a Y-chromosome.

  6. Stacy0311

    Destiny Savage? Seriously? Was that her “porn name” or just a call sign?

    1. John M.

      Good English words like “Savage” and “Hunter” are awesome surnames, but one need exercise a bit more care in choice of given name.

      And of course, when naming daughters, parents don’t get foresight into what said daughter’s surname will be later on.

      -John M.

  7. Trone Abeetin

    Such morons, the prevailing wage is killer for these jobs. Proves what abject morons these guys are, how do you ever get it in your head to kill that gravy train?

  8. Sommerbiwak

    Selling for the highest possible price the cheapest possible service. The delta is called profit.

  9. AndyN

    I’m not convinced low wages are really the problem. Every guy on those jobs should have to be paid prevailing wages under the Davis-Bacon Act (I love the fact the word bacon is in the name of a law that lards up contracts. Finally some truth in advertising from the government.) and the paperwork is pretty tightly monitored to make sure a contractor isn’t shorting the guys doing the work and pocketing the difference.

    I’d say a more likely explanation is somebody had a barely employable nephew, cousin or brother-in-law who needed work, and as long as he could pass a background check to get on post and knew which end of the torch to hold, he could get a better wage than his skills warranted. Unless I’m looking at the wrong table, a welder in San Diego would be making $42.31/hour on a federal job if their company is giving them benefits, and an extra $23.35/hour if they’re not. If you can set your wife’s idiot brother up with a $130k/year job and bill the taxpayers for it, it probably makes your home life a lot more pleasant.

    1. Jorge

      As someone in .gov contracting, I suspect that actual blatant fraud would cost us far less than all the mountains of paperwork required by anti-fraud regulations.

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