Thursday, October 13, 2011

"You couldn't have planned nothing"

On 9/11, the Coast Guard put out a radio call in New York Harbor.  All available boats, help evacuate southern Manhattan.

Half a million rescued that day, at America's Dunkirk.  Wow.

I believe that everyone has a little hero in them.  You look in there, it'll come out.

UPDATE 14 October 2011 00:37: Coast Guard member spit on my Occupy Boston protesters.  Stay classy!


doubletrouble said...

Great story; I hadn't heard of this until now.

Borepatch said...

Me either, DT. God bless the Coast Guard. And the people of this country.

Dirk said...

I ran across this while channel surfing on 9/11. Fascinating stuff.

(And, BTW - the update you added? "..spit on my Occupy..." I think you want "by" in there... :) )

Goober said...

Further proof that centralized command and control structures are far less efficient than outward looking, results based management.

YOu don't tell people HOW to do something, you tell them what you want done and let them figure out the how based upon the situation that they are presented with, which only they can properly analyze because THEY ARE THERE LOOKING AT IT. You don't tell a boat owner "pull your boat up here and wait for further orders", then load the boat, then tell him "drive these people to the other side of the river, then wait for further orders" then tell him where to dock the boat, unload the people, and then tell him to driv the boat back across the river to the previous point and wait for orders again. That's how FEMA does it, and one breakdown in the command structure and the guy is sitting on the far side of the river for days waiting for orders instead of ferrying people across the river.

The German military proved that you don't tell a guy how you want him to do something, you just tell him what you need done and let him figure out the details. You put out the order "By whatever safe means at your disposal, please evacuate people from manhattan." And by God, it will get done quickly and efficiently.

The fires in Texas are a perfect example. Before FEMA showed up, the local departments were coordinated, acting efficiently, and putting out the fires. FEMA showed up and the step-by-step orders and centralized, unimaginative, uninformed command structure caused a revolt - they stopped listening to FEMA and did their thing without them.

It is the utmost in hubris for a general 100 miles behind the lines to think he knows better on how to direct a platoon of soldiers than the lieutenant in command of that platoon.

Dirk said...

I read a great story about some of the fire relief efforts in Texas, how they were organized by someone with little to no experience. This was people taking care of the firefighters - providing food, quiet shelter, medical attention, etc. The whole community pitched in, with donations of various supplies by many local businesses, and many, many people running the thing. The story went on to descrbe how FEMA tried to swoop in and throw gravel into the workings of what had become a finely-tuned, well-oiled machine, and how the people essentially told them to get lost. I wish I had time to go hunting for the link - it was a great story. Maybe I got to it from an Uncle link.

Borepatch said...

Goober and Dirk, Bingo.

Define the mission objectives, get out of the way, and the folks doing the doing will tell you what they need.