a reply to: eriktheawful
I've noticed in the thread, some seem to think me and Zaph are defending the crews of these ships. We're not.
Well, you most certainly appear to be!
We're simply responding to the OP who asked how in this day and age can collisions like this happen? As though every aspect of US naval
warships is now computerized and so advanced that collisions should be impossible.
Yes, I did ask this...and NO that' is not what I am implying! Quite the contrary actually. What I am asking is how, with all of the crewmembers,
electronic systems, knowledge of past events, training, opportunity for awareness, something like this can be allowed to happen...under any
Specifically, two terrorists in a fiberglass boat attacked the USS Cole in October 2000, killing 17 and injuring 39, and crippling the Cole in the
process. From that point forward there should have been standing orders within all surface warfare ships to have human eyeballs on any vessel which
gets near a US Navy vessel...no matter what!
Seventeen years later, in the span of two months, two slow moving cargo/container ships, which could be spotted on simple maritime radar from 12-18
miles away (probably more like 30 given the size of these vessels), both likely lit up like Christmas trees, "accidentally" collide with two Arleigh
Burke class destroyers, at night, with both destroyer crews seemingly oblivious to the approaching ships.
The point here is, these weren't two small fiberglass boats filled with explosives, but rather two giant multi-thousand ton transport vessels! This
wasn't some crowded port with boats in immediate proximity everywhere. This wasn't a case of two vessels in close proximity and one of them suddenly
making some erratic/irregular maneuver. No, this was two incidents of vessels traveling along relatively steady courses simply colliding with one
another. Now, I can understand lack of training being an issue for a merchant vessel absolutely, but a US Naval ship?
Now, both the Fitgerald and the McCain have been taken out of service, not even by terrorists or ill intent.
But, let's not stop here; let's look at this from a couple more perspectives...
An Arleigh Burke class destroyer costs $1.8 billion dollars to build and commission...1.8 billion dollars. Not $250 bucks, not 500,000 even, but 1.8
. Under any circumstances this kind of money carries with it massive responsibility, and accountability...if to no one else, minimally
the very people who paid for it...the taxpayer
! And we have not one, but two of them
get blindsided by simple, yet huge (even bigger
than them) cargo ships in the span of two months??? Seems pretty irresponsible to me, and not what I'm paying for! Okay, so we got the money part
out of the way. So, now we can dispense with this seemingly trivial (by some here) aspect of the recent events.
But wait, there's more...let's not forget about the strategic value of these "assets". The US 7th Fleet has seven (7) Arleigh Burke class destroyers.
Two of these have now been sidelined, by two senseless acts. In the span of less than two months fully 35% of the entire destroyer capability of the
most powerful Fleet on planet Earth have been benched...and not even a single bullet was fired! $3.6 billion dollars of military firepower sent to
the locker room, or dry-dock as it were. Can these vacant slots be filled? Sure, but these assets will need to come from somewhere. So who's going
to take the hit in their Fleet for one, possibly even two, of these vessels??? Is it a big deal? Well, probably not considering there are
(theoretically) sixty three (63) of these vessels currently active, but the point remains; the 7th Fleet will have to trade out these two vessels for
replacements for the years it takes to repair them.
Lastly, the damage to the Fitzgerald alone is estimated to be in excess of $500 million, fully 1/4 of her cost to build new! I haven't seen any
damage estimates for McCain yet, but they will likely also be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, taxpayer dollars.
So once again, I ask...Did we not learn??? US Navy???
ETA...you can now return to your regularly scheduled "Go Navy" chest pounding.
edit on 9/2/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)