The Navy confirms that 13 soldiers from the ship assigned to the Madeira Maritime Zone refused to occupy their posts in preparation for the start of a mission on the night of March 11. On that day the ship was in a fault in one of the engines.
The mission assigned to the NRP Mondego was short-lived and close to the coast, with good meteo-oceanographic conditions.
The state of readiness of the ships is evaluated, in the first instance, by the command of the ships, by its hierarchical chain and by the maintenance structure of the Navy.
The ship’s commander reported to the hierarchical chain that, despite the aforementioned limitations, he was able to carry out the mission. The Naval Command (hierarchical chain) gave freedom to the command of the ship to abort it in case of supervenient need.
Warships, being a set of very complex and very redundant systems, can operate in a very degraded way without impact on safety. This evaluation, once again, belongs to the command line and the Material Superintendence, as the responsible technical entity. Both entities did not consider the ship unsafe to sail.
Ship garrisons are trained to operate in degraded mode and are prepared to deal with the inherent risks, which is part of the military condition.
Four sergeants and nine squares on the ship assessed that it would not be ready to sail and refused to carry out the mission. However, some told the commander that if the mission were to save lives they would go to sea.
The evaluation of mission priorities and ship status follows a well-defined and structured hierarchical line in the Navy. In this sense, it is only up to the Navy, and its hierarchical line, to define which ships are able to comply with the assigned missions.
Thus, the military concerned failed to fulfil their military duties, usurped functions, powers and responsibilities not inherent in the respective posts and positions.
These facts are still being ascertained in detail, and the resulting discipline and consequences will be applied accordingly.