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Did we not learn??? US Navy???

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posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 07:12 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

While it is unreasonable to think that no maritime disasters should be happening in 2017, because the fundamental nature of an ocean going vessel essentially boils down to "A complicated machine which keeps lifeforms who are not meant to be on the ocean alive, despite the fact that they, and indeed the machine itself, are in an environment which is hostile to them", it is also entirely legitimate to question how the recent events of vessels being struck by cargo haulers, can have come about in the first place.

Simply put, the military vessels which have been all but scuppered by collision with cargo ships in recent times, should have been able to avoid any such impact, and should have had plenty of time to evade these collisions, under normal circumstances. The vessels which have been struck were outfitted with modern navigation and rangefinding equipment, should have seen all shipping which might have posed a collision threat, WELL before the situations became unrecoverable, and collision imminent.

The fact that a collision happened in spite of the overwhelming amount of data the captain and bridge crews of these vessels should have had, about the situation of other shipping relative to their position, means that something went amiss either with the ship itself in terms of steering, its data systems, its ability to track other shipping on the sea, or in terms of its command level staff making errors in judgement. Of course, we must also consider problems which may stem from the other vessels involved, however, cargo haulers and the like are big and slow, whereas no matter how big a navy ship is, most of them could sail circles around a cargo hauler under normal circumstances, and have more than enough poke to out run, and evade anything remotely like a cargo ship, unless they are either incompetently run, or malfunctioning in some technological sense.

There will always be risks associated with oceanic travel, no matter whether one is engaged with it as part of a private company, or a military organisation. Fire, dangerous weather, critical component malfunction, and a whole host of other things threaten any ocean going vessel, and these things can only be mitigated for and prevented to a certain degree, never fully, because of the inherent risks involved with the environment that these ships are designed to endure. However, it IS concerning that these multi billion dollar vessels are appearing to perform badly in situations they should have been able to avoid without even the merest effort on the part of those running the show.

Its probably worth pointing out, that the causes of these collisions are probably not going to be made as much of a big deal of in the press, as the fact that they happened in the first place, especially if insurers and legal teams for both the military and the private owned vessel come to some manner of agreement as to settlement, involving some form of NDA. For example, if fault was laid at the feet of the military vessels commanders or a malfunction aboard the vessel, then it is possible that the military would simply pay out to have the thing kept as quiet as possible. Equally, private entities wishing to remain outwardly reliable to investors, might wish to pay the military off in order to maintain customer and investor confidence.

There are many facets to this issue, is what I am getting at here. Although I would not consider it wise to compare the fact that aircraft still crash, and cars still get into accidents, with the operation of a naval vessel, it is legitimate to remember that there are only three environments in which human beings operate regularly, which are more inherently dangerous than the open ocean, those being the sky, space, and under the sea by way of submarines and the like.

A moments inattention on the open sea, can be fatal to anyone operating there, whether they are on a pleasure excursion, a professional fishing expedition, a cargo run, or a battleship.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 07:17 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

They've already come out and said that the crew of the Fitzgerald was at fault. While the military does cover things up, there are too many organisations involved in that collision to really cover it up. There are something like three parallel investigations going on.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 07:22 AM

originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: DaCook

Seventh Fleet operates more than any other fleet in the Navy. They are at sea more than others, and put off maintenance and training more than anyone else. It finally caught up to them.

But thats kind of the point isn't it? Enemies see us LIMPING.

Yeah, I get it, accidents happen, you know how many LMTVs I services before the field? But DESTROYERS are much more then our troop carrier.

The point is, who do we look at for blowing this out of proportion? The media? Social Media?

People easily fear, look at San Antonion gas shortages, we're not actually short on gas, but social media has created a hysteria with gas and now people all over the city have drained the city of gas.
What does that have to do with anything? News and optics.

When the American people hear back to back Naval collisions, they want answers and "accidents happen" is something that isn't going to work on them. Civilians tend to over react, its expected.

Even I myself has to agree at some point. apparently the Navy thinks so too as they had a global pause in operations. I mean, is that standard for all accidents?

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 07:27 AM
In the question about redundancies the answer is: Yes.

It's called Aft Steerage and is normally in a compartment located right above where the rudders are (above the ram room of course).

What is there? Normally it's 2 motors that run the hydraulic pumps for rudder movement. While at sea, one of them is running with the other in standby. You have a Rudder Position Indicator (shows the position of the rudders in degrees, 0 degrees is considered centered, then you have 30 degrees port and starboard, but depends on the ship), and a compass dial that reflects what the gyro compass is indicating (direction the ship is headed in), and a wheel to turn the rudders.

During the mid watch (12am to 4am), the bridge will switch control of the helm down to aft steerage. The watch down there will have started up the 2nd hydraulic motor, and will switch the pump over (this way no pump is running longer than 24 hours, and so maintenance can be performed). The aft steerage will then do a test by moving the rudder 5 degrees left and right to make sure the rudders are responding. Then control is switched back to the bridge.

Hand pumps: agonizingly SLOW and in reality is not going to move the rudders fast enough for any type of quick steerage.

Also keep in mind: how fast a ship turns is dependent upon how fast it is moving. If your ship is only making 5 knots, it's not gong to respond very fast when you move the rudder, as compared to 25 knots.


I've noticed in the thread, some seem to think me and Zaph are defending the crews of these ships. We're not. 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.

And the answer to that is: no, they are not like that, and collisions are quite possible depending upon the situation the ships are in, what is going on with those ships, and of course what the crew of those ships are doing at the time.

Things I have noticed with both collisions: they happened during the early morning hours when the ship's crew is mostly asleep, and only watch personnel are up and about.

I've strongly suspected that in both cases there is a issue with the crews training. The US Navy has had a lot of cut backs in the training of crews starting quite a while ago, and when I read about that, it dismayed me quite a bit. What makes us the best of the best is that training. Not just high tech.....but the training on how to use it, how to keep it working, and above all: training in emergency situations.

While I was in during the 80s and 90s, they would train the crap out of us. At all sorts of times, we'd have surprise drills on just about everything you could think of: Fires, flooding, attacks, engineering casualties.......even when tied up in port.

Reduce that training, and you're going to have problems come up....especially as crews rotate out and new guys who do not get that much training take command of a ship. Too many things can go wrong.

So again: we're not here to defend the crews of these ships or the actions that have happened. We're only trying to explain that our ships are not some futuristic magical things that never have something bad happen to them.

A warship and it's crew is a symbiotic relationship: doesn't mater how advanced a ship's only as good as the crew that runs that ship and keeps it afloat. Works the other way too: you can have the best damn crew possible....but if the ship is falling apart and you can't keep things repaired (lack of parts due to funding cut backs, etc), there are going to be issues too.

The US Navy has 430 ships that are active......out of that 4 have had incidents lately. 0.9%......on the face of it, I'd still say we're doing great.

I can tell you that when things go FUBAR in the military, they investigate the crap out of it.....and do their best to effect changes so that it doesn't happen again. In the Navy we call it Lessons Learned, and even the smallest incident can cause huge policy changes or changes in training and operation. Small things that don't make it into the news at all.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 08:14 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

And that is why the commander of the 7th fleet was sacked.


posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 08:23 AM
a reply to: Arnie123

That's the thing though. To put it bluntly, civilian and media opinion doesn't mean jack. It comes down to the leadership and Congress. If civilian opinion meant that much, we wouldn't have a lot of our new weapons systems.

Our opponents are going to see a fleet that has had a few accidents. They use the media, but they have other sources besides them that are better than the idiots that write for the media.

Even with these accidents and the 24 hour stand down, we're still one of the safest forces in the world, especially given the size of our fleet and the operations we have going on.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 09:21 AM
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 circumstances?

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 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 billion. 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??? can now return to your regularly scheduled "Go Navy" chest pounding.

edit on 9/2/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 09:36 AM

originally posted by: kelbtalfenek
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

And that is why the commander of the 7th fleet was sacked.


Not good enough, and most likely a sacrificial lamb anyway. More ceremonial than anything. I'm sure he's been screaming bloody murder for years already about the very things which will ultimately be found to be the root cause of these incidents.

He's probably just a victim.

Maybe they should start with the Secretary of the Navy and then move up from there to the various House and Senate committees for oversight and control. (probably screw up a bunch of important golf games with defense contractors if you did that!)
edit on 9/2/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 09:37 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Why stop with the surface fleet? A Los Angeles class submarine, adjusted for inflation, runs around $2.2B. And yet in 05 they managed to run one into a sea mount and damn near sink her.

The attitude that they're the most advanced ships in the world is what is leading to more accidents in more than just the Navy. Automation can't do it all, and an over reliance on automation leads to complacency, which leads to accidents. They already said the crew on Fitzgerald lost situational awareness. They were complacent and paid for it.

It isn't chest thumping to disagree with you. Just because we don't agree also doesn't mean that we're defending these crews as Erik said. It just means that we disagree with you. We've both been in positions to see some pretty stupid accidents by people that are supposedly well trained, operating what is supposed to be the best in the world.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 09:37 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Horse and water.

We can continue to try and explain, but so far with each and everyone of your post, you come off as someone who is so angry, that you've decided to make veiled insults at anyone that even tries to explain or to offer ideas of what may of happened and the cause of these accidents.

At this point I'm done. Go ahead and sit there in your stew of anger. No need for me (someone who has actually been out there and knows shipboard operations) to try and help you understand anything as you've already made up your mind, and it's obvious at this point you're not interested in any civilized discussion, but instead would rather make posts that berate anyone that tries to give you information.

edit on 9/2/2017 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 09:42 AM
a reply to: eriktheawful seem to be doing the exact same thing...not liking my rejoinder.

I'm not mad. Just pointing out some uncomfortable (for some) observations.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 09:45 AM

originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Why stop with the surface fleet? A Los Angeles class submarine, adjusted for inflation, runs around $2.2B. And yet in 05 they managed to run one into a sea mount and damn near sink her.

Well, I thought of that incident, but I can't honestly say I feel as strongly about including that incident on the same level of inexcusable (i.e. stupid). Pretty hard to see underwater (even with active sonar...which they probably weren't even using at the time, IIRC). Not so with great big surface ships.

edit on 9/2/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 09:54 AM
a reply to: eriktheawful

You know, we might be in more agreement than you think. You're reacting to the edge on my words, but not what I'm saying.

One final question for you and I too will quit...

Do you disagree with the notion that relieving the Commander of the 7th Fleet is really nothing more than window dressing? In other words, that he's probably been screaming for years about the same things which will ultimately be determined to be root causes? And therefore is nothing more than a ceremonial scape-goat?

ETA...BTW, I don't have any problems getting my horses to drink water.

edit on 9/2/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 10:04 AM
I have to agree with the OP on this one.

Ships navigate in a 2 dimensional plane.
They have radar out the ying yang.

And yet no one see's they are on a collision course with a vessel many times their size???
Do we have unquestioning robots for bridge crew now?
Every member on bridge duty should be busted back down to sail boat duty on a pink sail boat in San Francisco harbor for a month. Public ridicule would swing them back to the common sense side.

The captain should be busted out of service for fostering a "I'm not gonna say anything" bridge mentality.

I took a sailing safety course with the coast guard many years ago.
The one thing that still sticks with me is one of the rules of the sea.
Vessels under sail have the right of way no matter the size of the other vessels.
But he added:"Don't be dead to your rights."
Meaning get the F out of the way of bigger vessels lest they run your a$$ over.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 10:12 AM
a reply to: samkent

Except that McCain broke. It wasn't a case of the crew being complacent in a busy shipping lane, it was a case of the primary and first backup system actually breaking in a busy shipping lane. It's kind of hard to "get the F out of the way" when you can't steer to begin with.

Fitzgerald was crew being complacent and doing things they shouldn't be doing while on watch, and losing situational awareness. They've already removed her leadership.
edit on 9/2/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 10:14 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

"Captain is responsible for everything that happens with their ship and crew."

That idiom is carved in stone in the US Navy. And while normally "Crap rolls downhill" it can roll uphill too.

Having admirals replaced when bad things happen is a practice as old as the first navies that existed around the world. It's not to always shut someone up, but holding someone accountable for things that have happened under their command. Ultimately: they are responsible and accountable for it.

Might not seem fair, but this is the military.....who said things are fair in the military?

Those in command are to be held responsible for all things that happen under their command. While most people think of ship captains, this is true for squadron commanders, fleet commanders and even Joint Chiefs. If something happens on their watch, they can be held accountable.

If multiple things happen on their watch, it's indicative of a problem.

You've demonstrated you expect excellence out of the US Navy. Normally that is the case. However sometimes stuff happens....sometimes there is a general cause that links them together........sometimes, even if what happened seems to be the same thing......they are not linked together but have different causes.

Still doesn't change the fact that a fleet admiral is responsible for all that happens under their command.

Scapegoat? Nope.

Normal policy with the US military. Just look back in history and you'll see.

Start with how many times Union generals were replaced during the Civil War......and then work your way up.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 11:26 AM
Everybody is forgetting one thing. It takes two to have a collision. The other guy has an obligation to get out of the way too.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 11:31 AM
a reply to: JIMC5499

Sure he does, but that gets into the fun of merchant ships setting the autopilot and leaving the bridge unattended, and taking a lot more room to react.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 11:44 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Yeah. There is that problem. I was an Airdale and don't know too much about how the black shoes work. My only experience was after being accepted to OCS I had the helm of the Forrestal for an hour. There was a guy right beside me ready to take over. I made three small course changes and that was it. Some of my ship's officer friends were trying to get me to go Surface Warfare.

posted on Sep, 2 2017 @ 11:48 AM
a reply to: eriktheawful

Two incidents one the Admiral of the 7th fleet's watch.. the Fitz is as much the admirals fault as the captains for two reasons. He had ATG onboard, so the ATG was on board running drills on the crew, and the admeral designates the op box. So the crew and captain is ultimately responsible for the ship, but the Admiral shares blame in creating the conditions and the environment the ship was operating, probably should have gotten canned from the Fitz alone. When ATG is on board drills are ran from sun up to sun down and most free time spent correcting issues found during drills. They should have been in a low to no traffic area when done for the day in anticipation of a fatigued crew and ship. And I know for a fact ATG was onboard drilling the crew of the Fitz.
edit on 2-9-2017 by swimmer15 because: (no reason given)

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