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#161 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 1110 AM

I was interested in learning a little more on the 1973 naval standoff in the med, so I picked up a very good book on Amazon by a previous CNO, Admiral Zumwalt's 'On Watch' which gave a very good overview of the period. There are similarities I can see to then, lack of funds through fighting an unpopular war, newly emerging threats there is not the resources to meet, uneven political leadership, aging equipment. The only good news is there doesnt seem to be a return to the on board racial disputes which seemed to simmer over a couple of times in the pacific between 1970 and 1973.

 

Well they will get through it ive no doubt.



#162 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 0042 AM

What concerns me is that the Navy is probably going to try to turn this into a "see, give us more budget" thing, when that isn't really the answer -- it's more of a "stop wasting money on Zumwalt and LCS" thing.

#163 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 0148 AM

Its a big irony that Zumwalt would probably have hated his namesake. For the most part he seemed to like cheap, reliable equipment like the Spruances, rather than the all singing, all dancing wonderweapons like Rickover kept foisting on the navy.

 

Maybe the Navy needs what he did, ie a rethought mission clearly described, rather than actual concern about budget or the equipment it has.



#164 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 1222 PM

stop wasting money on being "green"



#165 Ken Estes

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 1537 PM

Well, the word is out now and it's worse than I thought in the details.

 
Deadly Navy collisions were ‘avoidable,’ reports say

 

Originally published November 1, 2017 at 8:04 pm   Updated November 1, 2017 at 8:06 pm

The Navy’s two reports told of missed warnings, strings of errors and frantic U.S. sailors fighting to save their shipmates in the fatal collisions.

 

By 

 and 
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Two collisions between Navy destroyers and commercial vessels in the Western Pacific this year were “avoidable” and the result of a string of crew and basic navigational errors, the Navy’s top officer said in reports made public Wednesday.

In two reports that told of missed warnings, strings of errors and frantic U.S. sailors fighting to save their shipmates, the Navy determined that both fatal collisions could have been prevented. Seven sailors were killed in June when the destroyer Fitzgerald collided with a container ship near Japan. The collision in August of the John S. McCain — another destroyer, one named after Sen. John McCain’s father and grandfather — and an oil tanker while approaching Singapore left 10 sailors dead.

 

In the case of the Fitzgerald, the Navy determined in its latest reports that the crew and leadership on board failed to plan for safety, to adhere to sound navigation practices, to carry out basic watch practices and to respond effectively in a crisis.

 

“Many of the decisions made that led to this incident were the result of poor judgment and decision making of the commanding officer,” the report concluded. “The crew was unprepared for the situation in which they found themselves through a lack of preparation, ineffective command and control, and deficiencies in training and preparations for navigation.”

 

In the case of the John S. McCain, the investigation concluded the collision resulted from a “loss of situational awareness” while responding to mistakes in the operation of the ship’s steering and propulsion system while in highly trafficked waters.

“The collisions were avoidable,” Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, said in a summary of the reports, released by the Navy on Wednesday.

The release of the reports came a day after the Navy held closed-door briefings for lawmakers on Capitol Hill and sent officers crisscrossing the country to brief relatives of the sailors killed. A broader review of the 7th Fleet’s pace of operations, training, equipment and maintenance is to be released Thursday.

 

On Tuesday, McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, pointed to the automatic budget cuts at the Pentagon since 2013, known as sequestration, as one of the culprits behind the combined 17 deaths aboard the destroyers.

“We’ve deprived them of the funds to do it,” he said of the continuous operations in the Pacific. “We’re putting those men and women in harm’s way to be wounded or killed because we refuse to give them the sufficient training and equipment and readiness. It’s a failure of Congress. It’s on us.”

The fallout from the two collisions and two others in the western Pacific this year has been significant.

 

The commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet took early retirement, while the former commander of the 7th Fleet, based in Japan and the Navy’s largest overseas, was removed in connection with the accidents.

Several other senior officers and the commanding officers of the Fitzgerald and John S. McCain have also been relieved of their duties.

 

Even before the report, urgent new orders went out in early September for Navy warships.

The directives included more sleep and no more than 100-hour workweeks for sailors. Ships steaming in crowded waters were ordered to broadcast their positions. And ships whose crews lack basic seamanship certification will probably stay in port until the problems are fixed.

These were all seemingly obvious standards, military officials said, except that the Navy rushed the remedies into effect only after the two deadly collisions in two months, despite repeated warnings about the looming problems from congressional watchdogs and the Navy’s own experts dating to 2010.

John S. McCain

The narratives of what led to the two collisions are different, but both are rooted in human error.

In the case of the John S. McCain, things began to go wrong at 5:20 a.m. on Aug. 21, as the ship approached the Straits of Malacca, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. The moon had set beneath an overcast sky and a 3-foot swell rolled under the 505-footlong Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

The ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Alfredo Sanchez, had been on the bridge since 1:15 that morning, and the ship’s second in command had arrived around 4:30. The presence of the McCain’s highest-ranking officers was appropriate for the high volume of merchant ships transiting the straits.

With the sky still black, Sanchez noticed that the sailor steering the ship was having difficulty managing the helm and the complex arrangement of throttles that controlled the power to the McCain’s twin propellers. He ordered that the tasks be divided, one sailor steering at one station, another manning the throttles at another. The move, intended to make operating the ship more manageable, ended up taking away the helmsman’s ability to steer. A secondary and unnoticed effect of the commander’s decision was the inadvertent transfer of steering to the console now designated to control the throttles.

The helmsman, confused and with apparently no control of the ship, said he had lost steering. The ship began turning to the left. As those on watch failed to understand the events unfolding around them, Sanchez ordered the ship to reduce speed. Yet when the sailor operating the throttles tried to slow the destroyer, he managed only to reduce power to one of the propellers, meaning only one reduced speed while the other continued at regular propulsion. The mismatch lasted for more than a minute, causing the McCain to veer left and into the path of the Alnic MC, a 600-foot merchant ship.

The crew eventually managed to synchronize the ship’s steering and throttles, but it was too late. With no attempt from either ship to contact each other and their warning horns silent, the Alnic MC’s bow slammed into the McCain’s left side, punching a 28-foot-wide hole in the warship that spanned deep under the waterline.

Sailors were thrown to the deck. Those near the point of impact likened the collision to an explosion. The vessels remained melded together for several minutes before breaking free.

The 10 sailors who died were in a berthing area below the McCain’s waterline, near the point of impact. The 15-foot-wide space, compressed to a third of its normal size, filled with water immediately and was probably completely submerged in less than a minute. One sailor, already near the hatch, quickly escaped, while a second was forced to swim through fuel and water to make it out. Those who remained were sealed below in an effort to control the flooding.

Fitzgerald

The Fitzgerald’s story takes a different course. Less than a day after the Fitzgerald left its home port of Yokosuka, Japan, the ship was within sight of land at around 1 a.m. June 17 when officers on the bridge failed to realize how close their ship had come to a merchant freighter, the Crystal. The Fitzgerald’s captain, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, had left the bridge for his quarters.

In the minutes before the collision, two additional ships came close to the Fitzgerald. But the officers did not change course and then later mistook the Crystal for one of the ships they believed was farther away. By the time they realized the mistake, it was too late.

The Crystal struck the Fitzgerald at 1:30 a.m. Dozens of sailors — awakened in one quickly flooding berth — raced in the dark to escape, as seawater rushed in. Within 90 seconds, sailors were waist deep, then neck deep, in water. Of the 35 sailors in the berth, seven would not make it. Twenty-seven of the remaining 28 sailors struggled up a ladder, helping one another, and escaped from the port side ladder.

One sailor took a different route. He fought through chest-high water and through furniture. “Someone said, ‘Go, go, go, it’s blocked,” but he was already underwater,” the report said. “He was losing his breath under the water but found a small pocket of air.”

The sailor took a breath and swam. He lost consciousness and does not remember how he got out, but he gradually emerged from the flooding into another berthing area, where he could stand and breathe. He climbed up a ladder and eventually collapsed on the main deck. He was evacuated and treated for seawater aspiration and traumatic brain injury, before being released June 19.

The report attributes the collision to failure to maneuver the ship away from the approaching freighter, failure to sound the danger signal and failure to try to contact the Crystal.

 

 


Edited by Ken Estes, 04 November 2017 - 0319 AM.


#166 2805662

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 2303 PM

Do you have a link to that - a bit awkward to read in that format. Thanks.

#167 JasonJ

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 2306 PM

Do you have a link to that - a bit awkward to read in that format. Thanks.

 

Here you go:

https://www.seattlet...le-reports-say/



#168 Colin

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 2340 PM

painful to read, the only good bit is how the sailors in the damaged compartments behaved and how well the damage control teams worked. On that note, I noticed elsewhere that the RCN has stopped teaching advanced Damage Control to save costs, that`s going to cost us one day. 



#169 BansheeOne

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 0347 AM

Here are the relevant parts from the actual investigation reports. Which make for exciting reading if you're into multi-factor human fuck-ups resulting in loss of life, like the KAL 007 or USS Vincennes incidents.

 

Fitzgerald:

 

DDG_62_events_navy_1.png

DDG_62_events_navy_2.png

 

 

McCain:

 

ddg56_events_1.png

ddg56_events_2.png

ddg56_events_3.png


Edited by BansheeOne, 04 November 2017 - 0348 AM.


#170 ferongr

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 2157 PM

http://maritimebulle...d-saronic-gulf/

 

Tangentially related, but It seems like modern navies do not really teach seamanship any more. Or there's something completely wrong with the way the crews operate the ships. One of our Elli-class (ex. Dutch Kortenaer) frigates managed to get stuck on a (well mapped and lit) islet outside of the Navy's biggest dockyard on Salamina. There have been no reports of hull rupture, fuel leak, water ingress, or material damages, though I find it very hard to believe that the composite sonar dome and sonar mounted on the bow survived unmolested, from looking at footage like the following video.

 
 
ltMrkGK.png

Edited by ferongr, 06 November 2017 - 0000 AM.


#171 2805662

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 1351 PM


Do you have a link to that - a bit awkward to read in that format. Thanks.

 
Here you go:
https://www.seattlet...le-reports-say/

Thanks. Terrible reading, regardless of format.

#172 Kenneth P. Katz

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 1720 PM

Navy destroyer collides with building in downtown Houston



#173 Ken Estes

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 0249 AM

That was a good one, Ken, but we now have yet another Seventh Fleet collision, this time another Burke with a Japanese tug. I think it's time for the CNO to resign.

 

http://abcnews.go.co...ory?id=51242298


Edited by Ken Estes, 19 November 2017 - 0251 AM.


#174 RETAC21

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 0345 AM

Sometimes shits happens, Ken: The Japanese tug boat lost propulsion and drifted into the USS Benfold during a towing exercise. The U.S. guided-missile destroyer sustained minimal damage, and there were no reported injuries on either vessel.

 

Looks like a bump rather than a collision.



#175 JasonJ

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 0403 AM

Japanese fault this time.



#176 Ken Estes

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 1239 PM

I know, but why has it been the almost exclusive domain of the Seventh Fleet?



#177 JasonJ

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 1315 PM

I wonder if it's because the 7th fleet is busier than usual in the last couple if years. Although I don't know how busy they have been each year for the past decade, but I think the last couple of years might have saw them being busier because of the increased tensions in this Western Pacific area such as with things like FONOPs in SCS, joint-training with various allies, along with activities related with North Korea's provocations in 2016 and 2017. While it's been stated before several times here including ISTR, by yourself Ken, it's worth posting up an interesting CSIS talk that Stuart posted about the US's plan to increase the number of ships which includes USN strain.
http://www.tank-net....99#entry1336457

Said strain on the USN is another reason why I think Japan ought to get a carrier or 2 of its own. So that it'll be easier for the two nations to summon a battle group of three carriers in the future.

#178 shep854

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 1832 PM

I wonder if it's because the 7th fleet is busier than usual in the last couple if years. Although I don't know how busy they have been each year for the past decade, but I think the last couple of years might have saw them being busier because of the increased tensions in this Western Pacific area such as with things like FONOPs in SCS, joint-training with various allies, along with activities related with North Korea's provocations in 2016 and 2017. While it's been stated before several times here including ISTR, by yourself Ken, it's worth posting up an interesting CSIS talk that Stuart posted about the US's plan to increase the number of ships which includes USN strain.
http://www.tank-net....99#entry1336457

Said strain on the USN is another reason why I think Japan ought to get a carrier or 2 of its own. So that it'll be easier for the two nations to summon a battle group of three carriers in the future.

Go retro, maybe and re-designate those flat-roofed 'destroyers', cruisers? CV ;) ;)


Edited by shep854, 19 November 2017 - 1832 PM.


#179 JasonJ

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 2116 PM

Even if doing so, they would still just be 20,000-30,000 tons. I want bigger :)

#180 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 1545 PM

no big Japanese flat tops until we have Enterprise back serving with the fleet.  No since taking chances...

 

Still, a fine irony if a task force made up of Enterprise and Akagi were launching strikes against North Korea...






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