A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

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jimh
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A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby jimh » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:20 am

This is hard to believe, but there has been a second collision between a U.S. Navy warship and a commercial vessel, this time in the south China Sea. The unthinkable has now happened twice in a two months. The 505-foot U.S. destroyer JOHN MCCAIN collided with a 600-foot tanker around 5:30 a.m. local time on August 20, 2017, near Singapore.

This UK newspaper has excellent photographs of the incident

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -ship.html

Earlier this year, July 11, 2017, the U.S. Navy warship FITZGERALD collided with a commercial ship off the coast of Japan near the port of Yokosuka.

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby akwalker » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:55 pm

Wow. Perfect impression of the bulbous bow.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby WhatKnot » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:11 pm

What the heck is going on with our Navy?
Be Safe

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby jimh » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:50 pm

You'd think that with fewer capital ships in the Navy, a command berth would be extremely competitive, and only the best and most qualified officers would ever get promoted and posted into command of ships that cost a billion dollars. Two state-of-the-art ships in collisions in six weeks? Yes, what is going on?

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Whalerdog » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:59 pm

Disgrace now men can't sleep without being worried about being killed I. A flooded compartment

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Dutchman » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:37 pm

it is a disgrace that the 7th fleet personnel doesn't know the meaning of look-out.
How does it happen that some of the most advanced marine ships get run into by slower ships?
Are the Captains/Commanders playing chicken?
Sad, sad, sad especially for all fatalities and families involved.
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StormWarning
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby StormWarning » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:49 pm

Has anyone considered it was on purpose? I'm typically not one to suggest it was a conspiracy BUT these are the most advanced ships on the planet and are very maneuverable given their size so it doesn't seem very possible to me that it was accident.

How best to stop and get a look at a cargo ship then run into it.

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby andrey320 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:21 pm

StormWarning--that is the same thing I am thinking. The chances of two vessels colliding like that are pretty slim, the chances of that happening two times in a few months, are extremely small.

Only the "crazy" people believe in conspiracy theories--until they are proven true. The terms have almost become synonymous. If you look at the definition of conspiracy theory, it sounds like smart people are the ones that would consider these theories instead of just believing what they are "fed."

In this instance, we will probably never know what really happened. This is because the conspiracy theory is our military systems are inferior and can be easily manipulated. Do you think the US government (and media by extension) will tell us that?

I hope this post doesn't permanently label me as crazy to all my fellow readers.

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Jefecinco » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:20 pm

At least the Navy has finally relieved someone senior enough to get the attention of the entire command structure. When they fire a Vice Admiral (three star) it shows the big guns mean business.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Dutchman » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:27 am

Some bad mistakes were made and management must pay the price--or at least find somebody higher up to blame.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Hoosier » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:56 am

WHAT? Don't US Navy ships have AIS?

I have [an AIS receiver] on my 23 Walkaround and it lets me know if any big guys are near me.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby jimh » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:38 am

The problem with AIS and USA warships: they don't transmit any AIS--they want to be stealthy. The other ships don't see them on AIS.

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby andrey320 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:23 pm

I have AIS receiver on my 15 Dauntless and got it after a close call with a tanker in the fog.

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Dutchman » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:22 pm

jimh wrote:The problem with AIS and USA warships: they don't transmit any AIS--they want to be stealthy. The other ships don't see them on AIS.


Yea but the tanker that hit them wasn't in stealth mode, but probably to small of a ship to get noticed from a warship bridge.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby andrey320 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:17 pm

Dutchman wrote:Yea but the tanker that hit them wasn't in stealth mode, but probably to small of a ship to get noticed from a warship bridge.


You forgot your sarcasm emoticon... right?

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby jimh » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:21 pm

The two other ships involved in these collisions with USA warships were of similar size and generally much larger displacement. The notion that they could not be seen is ridiculous.

The US Navy has not seen such bad seamanship since PT-109 was cut in half while idling along on one engine by a Japanese destroyer that happened to come by. Now if only one of these commanding officers of these warships has a father who is ambassador to England and a billionaire, maybe he can spin it into a book and run for president.

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Dutchman » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:35 pm

andrey320 wrote:
Dutchman wrote:Yea but the tanker that hit them wasn't in stealth mode, but probably to small of a ship to get noticed from a warship bridge.


You forgot your sarcasm emoticon... right?


YES OF COURSE IT WAS SARCASM and let us hope that none of these commanders run for office and just retire on their laurels.

Maybe somebody has the guts to put all involved in place and cut their pensions, etc. I would as it is my money as a tax paying person that pays them.

Again it is a shame we all on this site know how important a lookout is when boating.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Jefecinco » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:48 am

The only way to cut a military pension is to reduce the retired rank of the recipient. This is normally accomplished through the courts martial procedure. It is not easy and should not be easy. Military pensions are earned over two or more decades of honorable service in difficult conditions. In the Army we liked to say one "aw shucks" erases fifty "atta boys" and there is a lot of truth to that. But one mistake, dreadful as it may be, should not erase over two decades of service unless that mistake was unlawful. In a case causing the death of someone a military member could be charged with the civilian equivalent of manslaughter. If found guilty of the charge a sentence, including a reduction in rank, could be approved. That is very rare and would almost have to be coupled with some form of wilful misconduct.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Mambo Minnow » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:02 pm

Navy ships crew have been undermanned the last 15 years due to reduced budgets and ships personnel diverted to support wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ashore. Maintenance has been deferred especially drydocking availabilities reducing material readiness of the Fleet. A whole generation of sailors were given computer based training to reduce schoolhouse costs. A perfect storm that has come home to roost.

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Jefecinco » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:33 pm

Undermanning of ships to a degree that causes operations to be dangerous is down to poor leadership at the CNO level. If the force is below it's budgeted end strength or congressional mandated strength that is a recruiting and training failure. If the force is at strength and cannot fill it's vessel requirements, it should place enough vessels in temporary storage to allow appropriate manning to fill vessel requirements.

At a time when the Navy is seeking additional ships placing existing vessels in storage would be a difficult decision as it could indicate to some that they must have more vessels than they need.

Still, at the top, an officer's core ethic should be not to put lives at unnecessary risk. If his boss won't accept that it's time for the admiral to retire so he can ethically go public.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Dutchman » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:41 am

Butch yes of course good service over decades can not be dismissed but running into (or being ran into) cannot be dismissed either as that is un-excusable, period. This was not a "Green Peace" ramming.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Wweez » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:20 pm

Our military has been short sheeted for decades by criminally guilty presidents and congress. Those same criminals who always take credit for the use of the same military.

These ships were operating in shipping lanes. In particlar the McCain was in a very narrow lane when referring to ships and their abilities. At sea, a mile is too close.
Next time you walk down a sidewalk remember how easy it would be for someone passing in the other direction to stick a knife in you or just slap you silly. Smack, right in your face. You will not see it coming or know who did it.

These two cases, at the very least the McCain are Terriorism.
The goal, like that of the sidewalk criminal is area denial. (And these days just hate) Get hit enough, you will not walk that street, or sail that sea. Stay on alert long enough and your retaliation may be against the wrong target or labelled as wrong by your cousins in the media.
None of the pc morons want to admit it is Terriorism, so the blame falls on the understaffed service folk for now.

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Don SSDD » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:20 am

I think these Navy vessels have a big enough complement to have a person on watch at all times in a busy shipping lane, on deck with their eyes. In addition to more people on watch in front of the technology, and they have lots of technology.
In this day and age, why would a US Navy vessel operating in these seas with this traffic not be watching for other vessels, either terrorists or commercial traffic?
Maybe they think their technology is flawless? Its like a self driving car, there are no perfect cars built now, no perfect computers built now, so how can there be a self driving car that is perfect? There is no perfect technology.
Maybe they were going along like a person walking along a sidewalk using there thumbs on their Iphone and not watching where they are going?

We all operate boats and most of us rarely are run into by someone else, its pretty basic common sense seamanship when operating a vessel.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Wweez » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:52 am

We are rarely run into by someone else, but basically, most of those out there with us are not actually trying to hit us.
Many of our boating friends may be accused of trying to run us over, but that is not their intent.
And "our" vigilance in a restricted water way is no where near adequate to avoid an intentional opportunistic hit.

There may very well have been problems aboard the US Navy ship, did not say there were not. I just said this is Terriorism.

Look at the ships and the ship drivers involved in these hits.
Historically and collectively, they are not your warm fuzzy friends.

You are most correct about the selfie cars. I cannot wait to see how a 400 mile traffic jam will be rebooted after some hacker changes the program, or some little computer snaps its mind. The default in all that selfie tech must be "stop the car".
You think Florida is a mess today, just wait.

Good Luck!

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Jefecinco » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:04 am

Weeze,

A little suspicion is a good thing, even a lot of suspicion is good. But don't let suspicion of terrorists help you to absolve those who were MOST at fault in these "accidents" at sea. The commanders of our vessels were at fault and if the ships under their commands were damaged by a terrorist ramming they were even more at fault. The crew pretty much mimics the captain's attitudes.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby jimh » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:34 pm

The U.S. Navy has released a report covering the two recent collisions of Navy ships USS Fitzgerald and USS John S McCain discussed in this thread. Links to the report and other information can be found at

http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=103130

There had been speculation about a loss of steering control on the McCAIN as being a cause of the collision. The report provides very interesting details about the actual situation on the bridge regarding steering control. The report remarks:

Steering was never physically lost. Rather, it had been shifted to a different control station
and watchstanders failed to recognize this configuration.

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby Don SSDD » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:20 am

I guess the watchstanders were not standing watch.
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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby jimh » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:55 am

The problem for the crew on the McCAIN was the user-interface at the helm controls. The CO noticed that the helmsman was having trouble steering and also adjusting the engine throttles, so he ordered the throttle controls be transferred to the adjacent helm station, intending that this would split the controls and let one crew steer and another run the throttles. But the helmsman at the main controls inadvertently transferred control of BOTH the steering and the throttles to the second station. This is when the real problems began.

When the steering was transferred, the rudder went to the default position, amidship. Immediately prior, the helmsman had been steering with some right-rudder in order to maintain course in some lateral current. The ship began to drift left.

The helmsman at the main station, who was supposed to have control of steering, found that he no longer had any control of steering, which was true--for that station. No one realized that the real problem was the steering control had been transferred inadvertently.

The CO then ordered the ship to be slowed, and the throttle was pulled back at the second station, the one now in control. But another critical mistake was made here. The twin engines were not in the ganged throttle mode, and the crew only reduced the engine speed on the Port engine, leaving the Starboard engine running at its original speed when the ship was making 20-knots. As anyone who has run a twin engine boat knows, due to dynamic thrust steering the high speed on the starboard engine and much reduced speed on the port engine caused the boat to turn left.

Before anyone figured out what was happening, the left turn put the ship into a collision course with another ship. All this due to lack of a thorough understanding of the control system user interface.

This is not the first time that a modern ship with electronic controls of steering and engine has had a problem. Back in December 2005 a very similar problem occurred on the Coast Guard icebreaker USCGC MACKINAW.

The USCGC MACKINAW was a new ship, just delivered to the Coast Guard by the builder in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. She set out on her maiden voyage under command of her new captain and crew, heading across Lake Michigan to call on her first port, Grand Haven, where a large reception was awaiting her.

While heading up the entrance channel, the MACKINAW executed a very sudden and unexpected right turn and rammed into the seawall and boardwalk, while hundreds of dignitaries and spectators watched. There was substantial damage to the seawall and a big dent in the bow of the icebreaker. The captain was quoted in the press as saying the sudden turn was due to a crew member moving the wrong control, and that was due to being unfamiliar with the new ship. He tried to make a joke about the arrival being "a big bang," but the senior staff of the Coast Guard was not laughing. The CO was relieved of command, a replacement CO was appointed. I suspect that for the original CO, the incident was a career ender.

In the MACKINAW incident, no one was killed and the damage to the $90-million ship was not very bad--bump out a hull plate and repaint. In the McCAIN incident, ten sailors died, and the $1-billion-ship was extensively damaged. But both incidents were fundamentally caused by failures of the control system user interface, not actual physical or electrical problems in those controls.

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Re: A Bad Day At Sea For U.S. Navy

Postby jimp » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:39 am

It's complicated.

Ships with new(er) technology: tough learning curves, multi-tasking, collateral duties, lack of sleep, etc. always contribute to the situation.

I was the Ready For Sea certifying officer for a new USCG 175' buoy tender in the late 1990s. During the underway trials we put the ship through all possible maneuvers, split controls, let the computer run the ship, went here, went there, simulated buoy operations, etc. Computers did a lot of the work, control stations on the port/starboard wings and amidships could "punch in" and "punch out" depending on what you wanted to do. You controlled of one thing here and another thing there. And of course, the helmsman was always waiting for a command.

Hey, did the XO just ask the OOD how the contributions were going for the Combined Federal Campaign? Or that the report was two days late?

I asked, "Where is the ALL STOP button?" I received funny looks. "What?" I said the button you push that disengages EVERYTHING and brings everything to ZERO, nothing engaged. Engine speed to zero, rudder amidships, computer disengaged. They said, "Professionals don't need that."