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ROFLMAO — presenting the “U.S. McNavy”……


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Author Topic: ROFLMAO — presenting the “U.S. McNavy”……  (Read 127 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: August 27, 2017, 06:10:44 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Seven U.S. Navy sailors missing off Japan's coast
after destroyer collides with container ship


By ANNA FIFIELD and THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF | 11:34PM EDT - Friday, June 16, 2017

The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald suffered damage when it collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship off Shimoda, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan, on June 17th, 2017. — Photograph: Iori Sagisawa/Associated Press.
The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald suffered damage when it collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship off Shimoda,
Shizuoka prefecture, Japan, on June 17th, 2017. — Photograph: Iori Sagisawa/Associated Press.


TOKYO — Seven U.S. Navy sailors are missing off the coast of Japan after an Aegis guided missile destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a container ship early on Saturday, causing significant damage and flooding.

Three sailors, including the destroyer's commanding officer, Commander Bryce Benson, were evacuated from the damaged vessel and are being treated at the U.S. naval hospital at Yokosuka, the home of the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet.

Benson was reported to be in stable condition in the hospital, while the other two were still having their injuries assessed. The Seventh Fleet had set up an information center for families of sailors serving on the ship.

The cause of the collision was not yet clear.

“Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the sailors,” said Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The USS Dewey, another destroyer, and two naval tugboats were at the scene, about 12 miles from the Izu Peninsula and 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, searching for the missing sailors on Saturday. Two Japanese coast guard cutters with helicopters were helping.

The Fitzgerald, which is more than 500 feet long, collided with a fully laden, Philippine-flagged container ship, the ACX Crystal, about 2:30 a.m. local time.

The Crystal is about 700 feet long and was bound for Tokyo, according to a website that tracks maritime traffic.

Local broadcaster NHK showed helicopter footage of the container ship with minor damage to its bow, while the Fitzgerald appeared to have significant damage above and below the waterline. Water was being pumped from aboard the Navy ship.

The Fitzgerald is part of the Yokosuka-based group that includes the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, but it was operating independently of the carrier when the collision occurred, Flanders said.

The Fitzgerald was operating under its own power after the collision, but was making only one to three miles per hour.

When its crew is at full strength, the Fitzgerald usually has more than 250 personnel aboard and can reach speeds well over 30 miles per hour. It is unclear how fast the destroyer was traveling when it and the merchant ship collided.

Also unclear was how the two massive vessels collided. There are extensive international guidelines for accident avoidance on the ocean known as the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, or Colregs.

The rules require that ships must have a watch posted at all times and follow a number of collision-avoidance steps when crossing paths with or overtaking other vessels.


Gibbons-Neff reported from Washington D.C.

• Anna Fifield is The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tokyo, focusing on Japan and the Koreas. She previously reported for the Financial Times from Washington DC, Seoul, Sydney, London and from across the Middle East.

• Thomas Gibbons-Neff is a staff writer at The Washington Post and a former Marine infantryman.

__________________________________________________________________________

Reated media:

 • VIDEO: 7 missing after U.S. Navy ship collides with merchant ship off Japan

 • The Navy thought this sailor was lost at sea. He was just found alive — on his own ship.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-navy-destroyer-collides-with-container-ship-near-japan-suffers-damage/2017/06/16/111df46e-52e7-11e7-b74e-0d2785d3083d_story.html
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2017, 06:11:23 pm »


There is an interesting photograph gallery on The Washington Post's website, reproduced here.

If you click on any individual image, the full-sized photograph will download and display in your browser.



The damage on the starboard side of the USS Fitzgerald is seen off the coast of the southeast Japanese city of Shimoda after the Navy destroyer collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship. The Navy says the Fitzgerald also suffered damage below the water line. — Photograph: Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News/Associated Press.
The damage on the starboard side of the USS Fitzgerald is seen off the coast of the southeast Japanese city of Shimoda after the Navy destroyer
collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship. The Navy says the Fitzgerald also suffered damage below the water line.
 — Photograph: Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News/Associated Press.


The USS Fitzgerald, which is more than 500 feet long, collided with a fully laden, Philippine-flagged container ship, the ACX Crystal, about 2:30 a.m. local time. — Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
The USS Fitzgerald, which is more than 500 feet long, collided with a fully laden, Philippine-flagged container ship, the ACX Crystal,
about 2:30 a.m. local time. — Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


The damaged USS Fitzgerald, left, heads to Yokosuka, home base of the 7th Fleet. — Photograph: Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News/Associated Press.
The damaged USS Fitzgerald, left, heads to Yokosuka, home base of the 7th Fleet. — Photograph: Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News/Associated Press.

Tugboats assist the USS Fitzgerald off the Shimoda coast. — Photograph: JiJi Press/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Tugboats assist the USS Fitzgerald off the Shimoda coast. — Photograph: JiJi Press/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

The USS Fitzgerald operated under its own power after the collision but was moving at less than 3 mph. — Photograph: JiJi Press/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
The USS Fitzgerald operated under its own power after the collision but was moving at less than 3 mph.
 — Photograph: JiJi Press/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


The damaged container ship ACX Crystal, which collided with the USS Fitzgerald, is about 700 feet long and was bound for Tokyo, according to maritime traffic trackers. — Photograph: Japanese Coast Guard/European Pressphoto Agency.
The damaged container ship ACX Crystal, which collided with the USS Fitzgerald, is about 700 feet long and was bound for Tokyo, according to
maritime traffic trackers. — Photograph: Japanese Coast Guard/European Pressphoto Agency.


Local broadcaster NHK showed helicopter footage of the container ship with minor damage to its bow. — Photograph: Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News/Associated Press.
Local broadcaster NHK showed helicopter footage of the container ship with minor damage to its bow.
 — Photograph: Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News/Associated Press.


People watch as the damaged USS Fitzgerald is towed to Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo. — Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press.
People watch as the damaged USS Fitzgerald is towed to Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo. — Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press.

When its crew is at full strength, the USS Fitzgerald has more than 250 personnel aboard and can reach speeds well over 30 miles per hour. It is unclear how fast the destroyer was traveling when it and the merchant ship collided. — Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters.
When its crew is at full strength, the USS Fitzgerald has more than 250 personnel aboard and can reach speeds well over 30 miles per hour.
It is unclear how fast the destroyer was traveling when it and the merchant ship collided. — Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters.


Crew members stand aboard the damaged USS Fitzgerald. — Photograph: JiJi Press/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Crew members stand aboard the damaged USS Fitzgerald. — Photograph: JiJi Press/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea are extensive guidelines for avoiding such incidents. The rules require that ships must have a watch posted at all times and follow a number of collision-avoidance steps when crossing paths with or overtaking other vessels. — Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press.
The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea are extensive guidelines for avoiding such incidents. The rules require that ships
must have a watch posted at all times and follow a number of collision-avoidance steps when crossing paths with or overtaking other vessels.
 — Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press.


The USS Fitzgerald arrives at Yokosuka. — Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters.
The USS Fitzgerald arrives at Yokosuka. — Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters.

The USS Fitzgerald's starboard side, in detail. — Photograph: Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News/Associated Press.
The USS Fitzgerald's starboard side, in detail. — Photograph: Iori Sagisawa/Kyodo News/Associated Press.

The destroyer USS Dewey and two Navy tugboats searched for the missing sailors on Saturday at the scene of the USS Fitzgerald's collision. Two Japanese coast guard cutters with helicopters assisted. — Photograph: Kyodo/Reuters.
The destroyer USS Dewey and two Navy tugboats searched for the missing sailors on Saturday at the scene of the USS Fitzgerald's collision.
Two Japanese coast guard cutters with helicopters assisted. — Photograph: Kyodo/Reuters.


U.S. military personnel prepare to transfer an injured person off the USS Fitzgerald. — Photograph: Japan Defense Ministry/European Pressphoto Agency.
U.S. military personnel prepare to transfer an injured person off the USS Fitzgerald.
 — Photograph: Japan Defense Ministry/European Pressphoto Agency.


An injured crew member of the USS Fitzgerald is carried by U.S. military personnel, left, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force members upon arriving at the Yokosuka base. — Photograph: Japan Defense Ministry/European Pressphoto Agency.
An injured crew member of the USS Fitzgerald is carried by U.S. military personnel, left, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force members
upon arriving at the Yokosuka base. — Photograph: Japan Defense Ministry/European Pressphoto Agency.

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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2017, 06:12:03 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Investigators question how a Navy destroyer and a container ship collided

By ANNA FIFIELD | 3:38AM EDT - Monday, June 19, 2017

In this June 17th image, released by the U.S. Navy, the damaged USS Fitzgerald is towed into port at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, Japan. — Photograph: Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart/Associated Press.
In this June 17th image, released by the U.S. Navy, the damaged USS Fitzgerald is towed into port at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka,
southwest of Tokyo, Japan. — Photograph: Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart/Associated Press.


TOKYO — A U.S. Coast Guard investigation team arrived in Japan Monday to start piecing together the sequence of events that led to the weekend collision between a Navy destroyer and a fully loaded container ship four times its size.

There are now multiple investigations into the accident, from both the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard as well as the Japan's Coast Guard and its Transport Safety Board.

“The Coast Guard will be taking the lead in the marine casualty investigation,” said Lieutenant Scott Carr, spokesman for the American investigation team.

The investigators will be questioning the crew of the USS Fitzgerald, the Aegis guided missile destroyer that collided with the ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flagged container ship, just off the Izu peninsula. The crash site was south of the Fitzgerald's home port, the Seventh Fleet base at Yokosuka, and south of Tokyo, where the Crystal was headed.

Seven sailors died as a result to the collision, which severely damaged the berthing compartments where they were sleeping, resulting in flooding. The ship's captain was also injured and evacuated by hospital to the naval base hospital at Yokosuka.

The 20 crew members on the container ship, chartered by the Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen, were reported unharmed.

“We are working to gain access to the crew of the Philippine-flagged vessel but it's taking a little bit of time to make that happen,” Carr said.

The collision appears to have happened at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, not 2:30 a.m. as the Seventh Fleet reported. That was the time that the Fitzgerald alerted the Seventh Fleet of the collision, a spokesman said.

Marine tracking data showed the Crystal proceeding on a westward course toward Tokyo, but shortly after 1:30 a.m. it performed a sudden U-turn and returned back to where it had been at 1:30 a.m.

“We are fully cooperating with the investigation,” said Manami Meguro, a spokeswoman for Nippon Yusen.

The ship unloaded some of its cargo at Tokyo then continued to Yokohama, where it offloaded the rest of the containers. After that, it will likely be taken out of service while the investigation takes place, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

Both Nippon Yusen and the ship's owner, Kobe-based Dainichi-Invest Corporation, declined to confirm the report.

Japanese investigators boarded the container ship over the weekend and interviewed the captain and crew, according to other local news reports.

“In general, when two vessels collide, then both would be subject to investigation and suspicions of endangering marine traffic through professional negligence could apply to both vessels,” said Yoshihito Nakamura, a spokesman for the Japanese Coast Guard.

Three investigators for Japan's Transport Safety Board had inspected the container ship inside and out, said spokeswoman Yuko Watanabe. It was not clear when or if Japanese investigators would be able to check the Fitzgerald or talk to its crew, she said.

The path of the Fitzgerald before the collision is not clear because military ships do not transmit location data like commercial vessels.

The Fitzgerald is part of the same fleet as the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, also based at Yokosuka. The Reagan carrier group, as well as other groups, have been particularly active in the area around the Korean Peninsula in recent months because of heightened tensions with North Korea. However, the Fitzgerald was operating independently of the Reagan at the time of the collision.


Yuki Oda contributed reporting.

• Anna Fifield is The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tokyo, focusing on Japan and the Koreas. She previously reported for the Financial Times from Washington D.C., Seoul, Sydney, London and from across the Middle East.

__________________________________________________________________________

More on this topic:

 • Missing U.S. sailors found dead after collision with merchant ship off coast of Japan

 • VIDEO: Missing sailors found dead after U.S. Navy destroyer collides with merchant ship


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/investigators-question-how-a-navy-destroyer-and-a-container-ship-collided/2017/06/19/aa551222-54bb-11e7-9e18-968f6ad1e1d3_story.html
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2017, 06:12:40 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Top two officers and other sailors aboard the USS Fitzgerald
to be disciplined following deadly collision at sea


The early-morning collision off Japan on June 17th that killed seven crew members.

By DAN LAMOTHE | 6:25PM EDT - Thursday, August 17, 2017

Damage to the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald is seen as the vessel is berthed at its mother port in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, on June 18th, 2017. — Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Damage to the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald is seen as the vessel is berthed at its mother port in Yokosuka,
southwest of Tokyo, on June 18th, 2017. — Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


THE top two officers and the top enlisted sailor who were aboard the destroyer USS Fitzgerald are among about a dozen sailors who will face discipline following an early-morning collision on June 17th that killed seven crew members, a senior Navy officer said on Thursday.

Admiral William F. Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, told reporters at the Pentagon that the majority of the punishments will be delivered Friday in Yokosuka, Japan, where the ship is. One sailor received an undisclosed administrative punishment on Thursday. Moran declined to describe what occurred in the moments before the collision, saying that remains under investigation.

The discipline will include probable career-ending actions against Commander Bryce Benson, the ship's captain at the time, and his second-in-command, Commander Sean Babbitt, Moran said. They and the senior enlisted sailor for the ship, Command Master Chief Brice A. Baldwin, will be removed as leaders of the ship permanently, Moran said.

The admiral said that sailors who were on watch in the ship's bridge — its nerve center — also are among those who will be disciplined. Neither Benson nor Babbitt was in the bridge at the time of the collision, in which the 505-foot destroyer was struck off the coast of Japan by a much heavier container ship, the Philippine-flagged MV ACX Crystal.

“Clearly at some point, the bridge team lost situational awareness,” Moran said.




The ongoing investigation is determining whether the Fitzgerald's crew was entirely to blame for the disaster, but Moran said the senior officer overseeing the probe, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, has collected more than 3,000 pages of information and has reviewed enough information to take initial disciplinary actions. It is not yet clear whether any sailor will face a court-martial trial.

The 29,000-ton container ship's bulbous nose ripped a 13-foot-by-17-foot hole in the starboard side of the 9,000-ton Fitzgerald about 1:20 a.m., flooding one compartment where 35 sailors were inside in less than a minute, Moran said. The ensuing flooding left disoriented sailors scrambling for their lives amid a soupy mix of personal items, electronics and mattresses, and some of the survivors were forced to seal a door with other sailors still inside in an effort to prevent the ship from sinking.

“It is somewhat amazing that we didn't lose far more,” Moran said. “By the time that the last two sailors reached the ladder-way up to the scuttle and out of that compartment was about 90 seconds, and by that time the water was up to their neck and quickly flooding the compartment.”

Documents released by the Navy on Thursday describe the chaos as sailors, mostly sleeping, awoke to a crash and realized their lives were in danger. Some began yelling “Water on deck!” and “Get out!”, the documents said. At least one sailor was pulled from his bed into the water before he awoke, and another was knocked out of his bed by rushing water. The majority of the sailors who eventually died slept closest to the incoming rushing water.

The last sailor to be pulled from the flooding compartment of the ship was in the bathroom when the collision occurred, and knocked off his feet. Lockers floated past him, and he scrambled across them toward the main room, where he was pinned between lockers and the ceiling and eventually pulled himself free by reaching for a pipe, the documents said.

“He made his way to the only light he could see, which was coming from the port-side watertight scuttle,” the documents said. “He was swimming toward the watertight scuttle when he was pulled from the water, red-faced and with bloodshot eyes. He reported that when taking his final breath before being saved, he was already submerged and breathed in water.”

Benson's stateroom also was flattened by the collision, injuring him and leaving him incapacitated. He was eventually medically evacuated from the Fitzgerald by a Japanese helicopter.

The sailors killed included Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19; Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25; Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26; Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23; Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, and Firecontrolman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37.


• Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post and anchors its military blog, Checkpoint.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Navy sailors made tough call to seal flooding ship compartments, unclear if survivors were inside

 • VIDEO: The agonizing choice USS Fitzgerald sailors had to make

 • VIDEO: Bodies found on board damaged U.S. Navy destroyer


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/08/17/top-two-officers-and-other-sailors-aboard-the-uss-fitzgerald-to-be-disciplined-following-deadly-collision-at-sea
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2017, 06:14:02 pm »


But wait………there's more………DRUMROLL………the US Navy has done it YET AGAIN………



from The Washington Post....

Another U.S. Navy destroyer collides with a merchant ship,
rescue efforts underway


The USS John S. McCain is reported to have been damaged during the collision near Singapore.

By ANNA FIFIELD | 8:14PM EDT - Sunday, August 20, 2017

The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain approaches the aircraft carrier USS George Washington for a fueling at sea on December 5th, 2010. — Photograph: U.S. Navy/Reuters.
The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain approaches the aircraft carrier USS George Washington for a fueling at sea on December 5th, 2010.
 — Photograph: U.S. Navy/Reuters.


SEOUL — A U.S. Navy destroyer has been involved in a collision at sea, with the USS John S. McCain hitting an oil tanker near Singapore early on Monday morning. It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties.

The guided missile destroyer and the Liberian-flagged merchant vessel Alnic MC collided near the Strait of Malacca at 5:24 a.m. local time, the Navy's 7th Fleet reported. It was on its way to routine port visit in Singapore.

Initial reports indicated that the destroyer sustained damage to its port side at the rear.

“Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities,” the 7th Fleet said in a news release.

Shipping data show that the Alnic is 600 feet long with a dead weight of 50,760 tons. The McCain is a 505-foot-long Arleigh Burke-class destroyer based at the 7th Fleet's home port in Yokosuka, Japan.

This collision comes just days after the Navy issued a report listing a string of errors that led to a collision between the USS Fitzgerald — also a Yokosuka-based Arleigh Burke-class destroyer — and a much larger container ship just south of Japan in June.

The collision killed seven sailors, all of whom drowned in their berths when the container ship struck the destroyer's side.

The Navy last week said it would discipline a dozen sailors who were aboard the Fitzgerald at the time, including the top two officers and the top enlisted sailor, whose careers are almost certainly over.

Admiral William F. Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, said that the sailors who were on watch in the ship’s bridge “lost situational awareness,” contributing to the collision.


• Anna Fifield is The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tokyo, focusing on Japan and the Koreas. She previously reported for the Financial Times from Washington DC, Seoul, Sydney, London and from across the Middle East.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Top two officers aboard the USS Fitzgerald to be disciplined following deadly collision at sea

 • Navy sailors made tough call to seal flooding ship compartments; unclear if survivors were inside

 • ‘There wasn’t a lot of time’ as water flooded U.S. destroyer below decks


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/another-us-navy-destroyer-collides-with-a-merchant-ship-rescue-efforts-underway/2017/08/20/c42f15b2-8602-11e7-9ce7-9e175d8953fa_story.html
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2017, 06:15:00 pm »


from The Washington Post....

The USS John S. McCain was struck in some of the world's busiest waters

The collision took place near a 10-mile-wide maritime gauntlet brimming with ships.

By MAX BEARAK and DEREK HAWKINS | 11:03AM EST - Monday, August 21, 2017

An image of Monday night traffic in the Singapore Strait. — Illustration: MarineTraffic.com.
An image of Monday night traffic in the Singapore Strait. — Illustration: MarineTraffic.com.

AFTER the USS Fitzgerald collided with a giant container ship in mid-June, killing seven sailors, Admiral William F. Moran, vice chief of naval operations, said that the Navy crew's lack of preparedness was partly to blame.

“Clearly at some point, the bridge team lost situational awareness,” Moran said.

Two months later, another destroyer from the same fleet has collided with an oil tanker and 10 of its crew are still missing. The USS John S. McCain (named for the Arizona senator's father and grandfather) suffered significant damage to its hull, which flooded nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery and communications rooms, the 7th Fleet said in a statement. On Monday, the U.S. Navy's chief ordered a “wide investigation” of the fleet.

The waters where the latest incident took place — the Singapore Strait, a 10-mile-wide maritime gantlet brimming with ships moving between the Indian Ocean and South China Sea — demand heightened precaution. If there is a systemic lack of preparedness in the fleet, then crossing through these waters, however peaceful, represent one of its biggest risks.

Captain Rahul Khanna, head of marine risk consulting at Allianz, a global insurance company, said the waters outside Singapore are particularly dense and hard to navigate, with a constant stream of ships waiting offshore to pick up loads and crisscrossing the passage after refueling. In addition to being one of the busiest shipping areas in the world, he said, it's also one of the riskiest.

“It's a very dynamic environment. These are areas where lots of ships funnel through,” said Khanna, who captained oil tankers for two years. “It requires the utmost level of situational awareness to pass through, and every sailor is aware of that.”

According to Allianz statistics, more than three-quarters of all maritime incidents are attributable to human error. Collisions usually involve a combination of factors such as malfunctioning equipment and a breakdown in communication among the ship's officers, Khanna said.

“You need to be extra careful,” Khanna said. “Your bridge team has to perform exceedingly well. They should be trained well enough to deal with this.”

Other maritime risk experts said that while traveling through the Singapore Strait carries a higher risk of collision, such incidents are becoming less frequent, making the 7th Fleet's mishaps all the more remarkable.

“According to global statistics there is a reducing trend for collision at sea as a percentage of overall causes of total losses of vessels,” said Nathan Hambrook-Skinner of Lloyd's of London. He cautioned, however, that as much as it might seem like it, drawing conclusions about the reasons behind Monday's collision would be premature until a full investigation was conducted.

Peter Roberts, director of Military Sciences at the Royal United Services Institute and a former officer in the Royal Navy, agreed that it was too early to tell whether the collisions involving the McCain and the Fitzgerald were the result of similar failures or just a coincidence.

“To have two in one summer is either amazingly bad luck, or there might be other factors that contributed to it,” Roberts said. “Because these collisions are so rare and because the standards of seamanship are so high, it's difficult to see how these two things happened so quickly after each other.”

Roberts questioned the notion that the relatively smaller and more agile Navy destroyer should have been able to rapidly change course and steer clear of the hulking oil tanker. Destroyers are fast and highly maneuverable, he said, but that only would have helped if the McCain was far enough away.

“At close range it might well be very difficult to avoid a collision,” he said. “The question is how the ships got in that close range.”

The location of the damage on the McCain seemed to indicate that the ship had tried to maneuver out of the away, Roberts said. “The fact that the ship is still running is a tribute to some quick thinking on the part of the crew,” he said.


• Max Bearak writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Previously, he reported from South Asia for The New York Times and others.

• Derek Hawkins is a reporter with The Washington Post's Morning Mix.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/08/21/the-uss-john-s-mccain-was-struck-in-some-of-the-worlds-busiest-waters
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2017, 06:15:23 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Top Navy admiral orders fleetwide investigation following latest collision at sea

Ten sailors aboard the USS John S. McCain were still missing, with parts of the ship flooded.

By ANNA FIFIELD and DAN LAMOTHE | 4:50PM EDT - Monday, August 21, 2017

Damage to the port side is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Changi naval base in Singapore following a collision with a merchant vessel early on Monday. — Photograph: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/U.S. Navy/Associated Press.
Damage to the port side is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Changi naval base in Singapore following a collision with a merchant vessel early on Monday.
 — Photograph: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/U.S. Navy/Associated Press.


SEOUL — The Navy's top admiral on Monday ordered a fleetwide review of seamanship and training in the Pacific after the service's fourth major accident at sea this year, a collision of the USS John S. McCain off Singapore that left 10 sailors missing.

The accident, which occurred on Monday east of the Strait of Malacca about 5:24 a.m. local time, involving an oil tanker three times the size of the guided-missile destroyer, could be the Navy's second deadly ship collision in about two months. On June 17th, the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided off the coast of Japan with a much heavier container ship, drowning seven sailors after a berthing compartment inside the ship flooded in less than a minute.

In addition, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel on May 9th off the Korean Peninsula and the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground January 31st in Tokyo Bay, near its home port of Yokosuka, Japan.

Navy Admiral John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, told reporters on Monday that he was “devastated and heartbroken” by the disaster. The ship is now moored at Changi naval base in Singapore, with the amphibious assault ship USS America arriving to provide support and assistance to the McCain's crew.

Richardson said the series of accidents in the Pacific “demands more-forceful action,” adding that there is “great cause for concern that there is something we are not getting at.” He ordered Navy fleets across the world to take a day or two within the next week to review their procedures and training to make sure they are operating safely.

More significantly, Richardson ordered a separate investigation into how the Navy prepares its forces to operate in the Pacific.

“This will include, but not be limited to, looking at operational tempo, trends in personnel, materiel, maintenance and equipment,” Richardson said. “It also will include a review of how we train and certify our surface warfare community, including tactical and navigational proficiency.”

Richardson said he wanted a broad and diverse team reviewing operations as part of the investigation, with the Navy inspector general's office, the Navy Safety Center and outside experts all assisting. The probe will be led by Admiral Philip S. Davidson, who leads Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk.

“This review will be on a very tight timeline,” Richardson said. “I want to get frequent updates. This requires urgent action. We need to get to it and take corrective action.” He added that he wants it concluded “in the few-months time frame.”

Richardson said the investigation of the collision will review all possibilities, including some that are seen as less likely by experts, such as an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. He also said there is “no indication” that anyone aboard either crew deliberately caused the collision.

Richardson's comments came as the Navy continued a search for the missing sailors that included searches of the route the McCain had taken and an effort to explore flooded areas of the ship.

Photos of the disabled ship arriving in port showed a large hole on its left, or port, side at the waterline. More than 18 hours after the collision, the Navy had not disclosed any progress on the hunt for the missing sailors, but a search of flooded areas of the ship was expected to commence again after daybreak in Singapore.

The USS McCain is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer — named after the father and grandfather of Senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona) and nicknamed “Big Bad John” — that had been on its way to a routine port visit in Singapore after patrolling in the South China Sea.

Shipping data showed the Liberian-flagged merchant vessel Alnic MC was also on its way to Singapore when the ships collided before sunrise.

The 550-mile-long strait runs between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, connecting the Pacific and Indian oceans, and is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.




The Alnic has a gross tonnage of 30,000, compared with the McCain's 8,300.

The collision caused significant damage to the hull, flooded nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery and communications rooms, the 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding,” it said.

Four sailors were medically evacuated from the McCain by a Singapore armed-forces helicopter and were in a hospital in Singapore being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening. A fifth sailor who was injured did not require further medical attention, the statement said.

On the McCain's Facebook page, people were hoping for good news about the missing. “Praying all the sailors including my brother are safe & the missing are found!” wrote Natalie Bossio.

The 7th Fleet set up an emergency assistance center in Yokosuka for family members of the McCain crew, and Admiral Scott Swift, the head of the Pacific Fleet, is headed to Singapore to visit the damaged vessel, according to a fleet spokesman.

President Trump, returning to the White House on Sunday night, responded to reporters' questions about the collision by saying, “That's too bad.” Later on Sunday night, Trump tweeted, “Thoughts & prayers are w/ our @USNavy sailors aboard the #USSJohnSMcCain where search & rescue efforts are underway.”

Senator McCain said in a statement on Monday that he agreed with the actions Richardson is taking.

“Our sailors who risk their lives every day, in combat and in training, deserve no less,” the senator said. “I expect full transparency and accountability from the Navy leaders as they conduct the associated investigations and reviews.”

The China Daily, a state newspaper, took the opportunity to denounce the U.S. Navy's activities in the South China Sea, where the United States and allies have been trying to keep Chinese expansion in check. China claims full sovereignty over the sea.

The U.S. Navy “is becoming a dangerous obstacle in Asian waters” while China is trying to boost navigational safety, the paper said in an unsigned editorial.

“Anyone should be able to tell who is to blame for militarizing the waters and posing a threat to navigation,” it wrote.

Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority said that the tanker, which was carrying 12,000 tons of fuel oil, suffered damage 20 feet above the waterline but that none of its contents had leaked.

“There is no report of oil pollution and traffic in the Singapore Strait is unaffected,” the authority said, adding that none of the crew on the tanker were injured.

Marine traffic data showed the Alnic at anchor off Singapore on Monday night.

The collision on Monday came just days after the Navy issued a damning report listing errors that led to the USS Fitzgerald collision.

The Navy said last week that it would discipline a dozen sailors who were aboard the Fitzgerald, including the top two officers and the top enlisted sailor, whose careers are almost certainly over. Admiral William F. Moran, vice chief of naval operations, said the sailors who were on watch in the ship's bridge “lost situational awareness”, contributing to the collision.


Dan Lamothe reported from Washington. Thomas Gibbons-Neff in Washington contributed to this report.

• Anna Fifield is The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tokyo, focusing on Japan and the Koreas. She previously reported for the Financial Times from Washington DC, Seoul, Sydney, London and from across the Middle East.

• Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post and anchors its military blog, Checkpoint.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: U.S. Navy destroyer collides with a merchant ship

 • VIDEO: Navy's top admiral orders investigation after latest accident at sea


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/stricken-us-destroyer-arrives-in-singapore-after-collision-10-sailors-missing/2017/08/21/8ad075b0-8646-11e7-a50f-e0d4e6ec070a_story.html
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2017, 06:16:07 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Deadly Navy accidents in the Pacific raise questions over a force stretched too thin

By ALEX HORTON and THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF | 7:00AM EDT - Saturday, August 26, 2017

The damaged hull of the USS John S. McCain is visible while docked at Singapore's Changi naval base on August 22nd. — Photograph: Wong Maye-E/Associated Press.
The damaged hull of the USS John S. McCain is visible while docked at Singapore's Changi naval base on August 22nd.
 — Photograph: Wong Maye-E/Associated Press.


COSTAND DEPLOYMENTS, a shrinking number of ships and high demands on crews have frayed the U.S. Navy, according to naval experts and current and former Navy officers, leading to four major incidents at sea this year and the deaths of 17 sailors.

The collision of the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker on August 21st — which left 10 sailors dead — was the culmination of more than a decade of nonstop naval operations that has exhausted the service.

Government reports, congressional probes and internal concerns have all pointed to systemic problems related to long deployments, deferred maintenance and shortened training periods within the Navy's surface fleet that seem to have coalesced in the Pacific, specifically at the Japan-based 7th Fleet.

Bryan McGrath, a former destroyer commander and deputy director of the Center of American Seapower at the Hudson Institute, said there’s no “silver bullet” for the Navy's issues and that for the past 15 years, the surface fleet has been in decline.

“The biggest problem is that the Navy recognized this and started to make changes, but at the same time the operational requirements became more pressurized,” he said. “The Pacific fleet has really been pressurized in a way that has harmed the surface forces’ proficiency in very basic things.”

In January, the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay, leading to the commander's dismissal. In May, the cruiser USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing boat. And roughly a month later, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship in the approach to Tokyo Bay. Seven sailors died and the destroyer's commanding and executive officers were relieved.


The USS Fitzgerald sits in a dry dock in Yokosuka, Japan, after it collided with a container ship on the approach to Tokyo Bay. — Photograph: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christian Senyk/U.S. Navy.
The USS Fitzgerald sits in a dry dock in Yokosuka, Japan, after it collided with a container ship on the approach to Tokyo Bay.
 — Photograph: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christian Senyk/U.S. Navy.


The combined death toll eclipses the number of battlefield casualties in Afghanistan this year, which stand at 11.

In a written message to his officers, Admiral Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, pointed out that the rash of incidents occurred during “the most basic of operations”.

“History has shown that continuous operations over time causes basic skills to atrophy and in some cases gives commands a false sense of their overall readiness,” he wrote after the McCain collision.

Following that accident, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson ordered a 24-hour stand down and a fleetwide review of training and seamanship, including a separate probe evaluating Pacific operations.

The Antietam, McCain and Fitzgerald are all in the 7th Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan, raising questions over whether there are particular problems in that command. The 7th Fleet is responsible for 48 million square miles in the Pacific and Indian oceans, the Navy said. Swift also dismissed its commander, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin.

The spate of accidents also comes amid the Pentagon's shifting of forces to the Pacific, where it will permanently station 60 percent of its naval and combat airpower assets. The Trump administration is also considering plans to expand the Navy to 350 ships. There are currently 276 deployable ships on Navy rolls.

The Navy has been strained by fewer ships taking on more missions. A 2015 study by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments found that deployed ships remained at a constant level of 100 between 1998 and 2014, even though the fleet shrank by about 20 percent.

An inflection point appears to have been the September 11th, 2001, attacks and ramped-up operations across the Middle East and North Africa. In 1998, about 60 percent of ships were at sea at any one time. That number peaked at 86 percent in 2009.

Pressure on the fleets decreased by 2015, yet the Navy still had three-quarters of operational ships constantly deployed as maintenance and fundamental skills such as navigation and ship-to-ship communication wilted, the report's authors said.

The Navy's missions in the Pacific to challenge Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea as well as ramped up patrols and cruises to guard against North Korean attacks have utilized destroyers like the McCain and the Fitzgerald as centerpiece warships, said Ridzwan Rahmat, a defense analyst with IHS Jane's and an expert on naval operations in Asia.

“This particular platform is being stretched in terms of capability and crew,” he said.

A dearth of ships is felt more sharply in the Pacific, where deployments are more frequent and strenuous than other seas, said Rob McFall, a former Navy officer who served as the operations officer for the Fitzgerald until 2014.

Typical deployments for stateside ships occur in predictable two-year cycles, with about six months underway and 18 months of maintenance, training and workups, McFall said.

The cycle is more unforgiving in the Pacific. Deployments vary on mission, but a common routine is three months out, six months in port as the mission to reassure regional allies balloons in importance, McFall said.

Time in a homeport is often overshadowed by nearby adversaries.

“For those six months you're on a tether. You're always on call, in range and operational,” he said.

Open source documents show the McCain spent about seven of the last twelve months deployed before the accident.

“That is a lot of time underway,” McFall said. “But not uncommon for that area.”




The McCain's collision occurred in the Singapore Strait, a 10-mile wide waterway crisscrossed with a thicket of hulking commercial ships. It is one of the busiest waterways on the planet and exceptionally challenging to navigate. A collision occurred in 2003 between a Republic of Singapore vessel and a merchant ship near the site of the McCain's mishap; the area is a bottleneck one former naval officer likened to the on-ramp of a highway.

Accidents in the Pacific appear more likely given the deployment tempo, retired Vice Admiral Peter H. Daly, former deputy commander and chief of staff of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, said in an interview.

Daly, who is now chief executive of the U.S. Naval Institute, said a disruptive deployment cycle could make some commands susceptible to cutting corners in maintenance and training.

“Ships deploying into this environment from the West Coast and Hawaii are not having these particular incidents,” he said.

A number of former Navy officers have said the bridge is the first and last defense for catastrophic incidents. Three junior officers pull duty there, monitoring ship-to-ship communications, ordering course corrections and watching for other ships and obstacles at sea.

The officers must pass what is known as an officer-of-the-deck examination board, which assesses candidates on principles of seamanship and understanding of the international rules governing seafaring traffic.

A navigator acting as officer of the deck during the USS Antietam incident was not properly qualified to fill that role, according to investigative findings provided to The Washington Post.

The three junior officers share outsize responsibility to keep the ship afloat and its crew safe, standing watch for four to as many as nine hours a day on top of regularly assigned duties. The job's demands can erode the senses of even the sharpest young officers. A former surface warfare officer with nearly 30 years of experience said four hours of sleep a day were common among watch officers at sea.

“That's what underway life is,” the former officer said, who declined to be identified given his sensitive post-Navy career.

The grind has not been lost on the Navy, which has long understood exhaustion can spiral into fatal mistakes.

“Fatigue has measurable negative effects on readiness, effectiveness and safety,” Vice Admiral Thomas Rowden, commander of Naval Surface Force Pacific, told the fleet last year.

The case of the Fitzgerald's collision puzzled McFall, who said standing orders set by commanders provide guidance to alert or wake the captain if the ship is within the closest point of approach, the Navy's term for the point at which two objects could collide.

About 3 nautical miles (3.5 standard miles) is common, McFall said, but high-traffic areas might prompt some captains to raise the bar for alerts. The Fitzgerald collision occurred in the early morning, flattening the captain's quarters and knocking him unconscious.

“In all incidents and investigations, almost in every case it comes down to the competency of watch standers, how they were trained and who qualified them,” Daly said.


• Alex Horton is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post and a former Army infantryman.

• Thomas Gibbons-Neff is a staff writer at The Washington Post and a former Marine infantryman.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: What's wrong with the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet?

 • These are the 10 sailors lost from the USS John S. McCain


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/08/26/deadly-navy-accidents-in-the-pacific-raise-questions-over-a-force-stretched-too-thin
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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2017, 06:17:20 pm »


Yep.....the U.S. McNavy is an incompetent Mickey Mouse outfit alright!!

Donald Trump's stupidity must be rubbing off on the navy, eh?

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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 06:32:34 pm »


from The Washington Post....

‘Multiple failures’ by ship crews standing watch
contributed to deadly collisions, Navy finds


“The Navy is firmly committed to doing everything possible to prevent an
accident like this from happening again,” the service's top officer said.


By DAN LAMOTHE | 10:07AM EDT - Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The damaged guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald is berthed in Yokosuka, Japan, in June after a deadly collision killed seven sailors. — Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
The damaged guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald is berthed in Yokosuka, Japan, in June after a deadly collision killed seven sailors.
 — Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


THE NAVY has found that two ship collisions that combined to kill 17 sailors at sea were preventable and caused by “multiple failures” by service members who were standing watch the nights of the incidents, the service said on Wednesday.

The USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain, both guided-missile destroyers, suffered catastrophic collisions on June 17th and August 21st, respectively. The Fitzgerald accident killed seven sailors off the southern coast of Japan, while the McCain collision killed 10 sailors near Singapore.

The collisions shocked the Navy, which prides itself on good seamanship. In the last few months, the service has removed numerous people from their jobs as a result, including the senior officer in charge of the Navy's 7th Fleet, to which both ships were assigned.

Admiral John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said on Wednesday in a statement upon releasing the investigation results that the service must do better.

“We are a Navy that learns from mistakes, and the Navy is firmly committed to doing everything possible to prevent an accident like this from happening again,” Richardson said. “We must never allow an accident like this to take the lives of such magnificent young Sailors and inflict such painful grief on their families and the nation.”

The Fitzgerald collision was attributed to its watch teams disregarding established ways of contacting other ships and required safety precautions that were in place. The investigation found that at about 11 p.m. on June 16th, the ship's top two officers — Commander Bryce Benson, the ship's captain, and Commander Sean Babbitt, the ship's executive officer, left the ship's bridge for the evening.

By 1 a.m., the Fitzgerald was moving past Japan's Oshima Island, and approached three merchant ships from the starboard, or right, side of the ship. There was “minimal” distance between the Fitzgerald and the other vessels, and all three presented a collision hazard, the investigation found.

The Navy determined that the Fitzgerald was in a crossing situation with each vessel, meaning it was the U.S. sailors' obligations to take maneuvering action to avoid them. But in the 30 minutes leading up to the collision, neither the Fitzgerald nor the much larger MV ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flagged container ship, did so until just a minute prior to the disaster.

The investigation faulted the officer of the deck, who was not named in the documents, for failing to maneuver as needed, sound the danger alarm on the ship, contact the Crystal or call his own captain, as required.

“Initially, the Officer of the Deck intended to take no action, mistaking CRYSTAL to be another of the two vessels with a greater closest point of approach,” the investigation found. “Eventually, the Officer of the Deck realized that FITZGERALD was on a collision course with CRYSTAL, but this recognition was too late.”

Benson, Babbitt and the senior enlisted sailor of the ship, Command Master Chief Brice Baldwin, were cited for being absent from the bridge at the time of the crash, “during an evolution where their experience, guidance and example would have greatly benefited the ship,” the Navy found. They were removed from their jobs in August.

In the McCain collision, the ship's captain, Commander Alfredo J. Sanchez, and executive officer, Commander Jessie L. Sanchez, were on the bridge, but confusion about how the ship's steering worked caused chaos. Both officers were removed from their positions in August as the service examined what happened.

The investigation found that it was about 5:19 a.m. on August 21st when the ship's captain noticed that the ship's helmsman, who was steering the vessel, was having difficulty maintaining course while in a congested ship corridor. In response, the captain put a second sailor in charge of shifting speed control while keeping the steering with the helmsman. The decision prompted confusion, with the sailors thinking that steering also had been transferred to the second sailor even though it had not.

The helmsman reported a loss of steering, prompting the commanding officer to order the ship's speed from 10 knots to five knots. But the second sailor reduced the speed only on one of the ship's rear propeller shafts, steering it toward the Alnic MC, a much larger oil tanker.

“Although JOHN S McCAIN was now on a course to collide with ALNIC, the Commanding Officer and others on the ship's bridge lost situational awareness,” the investigation recounted. “No one on the bridge clearly understood the forces acting on the ship, nor did they understand the ALNIC's course and speed relative to JOHN S McCAIN during the confusion.”

Three minutes after the steering problems were reported, the McCain's crew regained control. But it was too late, and the ships collided at 5:24 a.m.

“The collision was felt throughout the ship,” the investigation report said. “Watchstanders on the bridge were jolted from their stations momentarily and watchstanders in aft steering were thrown off their feet. Several suffered minor injuries. Some Sailors thought the ship had run aground, while others were concerned that they had been attacked. Sailors in parts of the ship away from the impact point compared it to an earthquake. Those nearest the impact point described it as like an explosion.”

The investigation found that the McCain collision “resulted primarily from complacency, overconfidence and lack of procedural compliance.” It added that “with regard to procedures, no one on the Bridge watch team, to include the commanding officer and executive officer, were properly trained on how to correctly operate the ship control console during a steering casualty.”


• Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post and anchors its military blog, Checkpoint.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • The Navy, stunned by two fatal collisions, exhausts some sailors with 100-hour workweeks

 • Deadly Navy accidents in the Pacific raise questions over a force stretched too thin

 • When Navy ships collide, there is virtually always human error involved


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/11/01/multiple-failures-by-sailors-standing-watch-contributed-to-deadly-navy-collisions-investigation-finds
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