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Seven US Sailors are missing after a US Navy destroyer collided with a 21,000 ton cargo ship 56 miles off the coast of Japan. Login/Join 
Go ahead punk, make my day
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Former CO of USS John S. McCain Pleads Guilty to Negligence in Collision Case

WASHINGTON NAVY YARD – The commander of the guided-missile destroyer that collided with a merchant ship off Singapore in August 2017 pleaded guilty to a single charge of negligence for his role in the incident that killed 10 sailors.

As part of an agreement to plead guilty, former USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) commander Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez admitted to not setting the proper watch team for the busy shipping lane the ship was entering, or taking proper action when the bridge crew lost control of the ship due to a poor understanding of the helm controls.

A military judge sentenced Sanchez to a punitive letter of reprimand and forfeiture of $6,000 in pay. As part of the agreement, he has requested to retire, and that request will be allowed or denied later in the accountability proceedings. The results of the court-martial also put a federal misdemeanor on his record. Sanchez had faced admiral’s mast shortly after the collision and was given credit for his punishment at sentencing.

Prior to the plea agreement, Sanchez could have faced more serious charges including negligent homicide and hazarding a vessel, which could have resulted in jail time, according to a January decision by naval reactors director Adm. James F. Caldwell. Caldwell was appointed late last year to oversee disciplinary actions for the McCain and USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) collisions as a consolidated decision authority.

In the court-martial, Sanchez admitted he acted against the recommendation of his operations officer, navigator and executive officer. They advised Sanchez to set McCain’s sea and anchor detail as the ship was entering the heavily traveled Singapore traffic separation at 5 a.m. local time on Aug. 21. A ship’s sea and anchor detail include a U.S. warship’s most experienced ship handlers that are put on the watch bill when the ship enters difficult operating areas. Instead, Sanchez ordered the more experienced watch team to get an extra hour of sleep and said he would supervise the less experienced crew on the bridge.

During the transit, a change in settings on the ship’s new digital integrated bridge and navigation system caused the 18-year-old helmsman to lose control of McCain when the steering function was transferred to another terminal on the bridge.

“We put this on this 18-year-old,” Sanchez said.
“I did not put him in a position to succeed.”

While the watch spent three minutes attempting to gain control of the ship, it had drifted into the path of the oiler Alnic MC. McCain did put on a signal to indicate to other ships it was out of control, but it did not attempt to reach other ships via bridge-to-bridge radio or sound warning blasts of the ship’s horn, nor did it sound the collision alarm inside the destroyer.

The bulbous bow of Alnic MC crushed McCain below the waterline and flooded the berthing compartment with seawater, fuel oil and other chemicals.
 
Posts: 40000 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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UPDATED: Senior Enlisted USS McCain Sailor Pleads Guilty to Dereliction Charge in Collision
While a couple of weeks old an interesting revelation to the general state of things. Bold text by me.
While one could argue this sailor is being hung-out to dry by a command covering it's deficiencies, he the chief of this division and somehow for over a year, he didn't know how to operate the most important device on the bridge. Red Face
quote:
WASHINGTON NAVY YARD — A senior enlisted member of the guided-missile destroyer USS McCain (DDG-56) crew pleaded guilty to a single charge of dereliction of duty for his part leading up to a fatal August 2017 collision in a summary court-martial.

Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jeffery Butler, 40, admitted to a military judge on Thursday he had inadequately trained the sailors who manned the bridge during the collision between McCain and the merchant oiler Alnic MC. Butler, the senior enlisted sailor in charge of the deck division on McCain, was not on the bridge at the time of the collision. He was sentenced to a reduction in rank from E-7 to E-6 – Boatswain’s Mate First Class – by military judge Cmdr. William Weiland.

Butler had previously faced admiral’s mast shortly after the collision off the coast of Singapore that resulted in the death of ten sailors. At mast, Butler received a punitive letter of reprimand and was ordered to forfeit one-half month’s pay for one month.

As part of a plea agreement, Butler admitted to not properly training watchstanders on McCain’s touchscreen integrated bridge and navigation system. Failure to properly the operate the IBNS led to watchstanders on the bridge losing control of the ship and moving into the path of Alnic MC, the Navy said in a summary of its investigation into the collision.

...

In testimony, Butler said the extent of the training he received in the use of the new navigation system was about an hour-long tutorial from a master helmsman familiar with the IBNS and then reliance on technical manuals. Eek After the tutorial and reading the manuals, it was then his responsibility to teach younger sailors how to operate the system. He said it was difficult to find others nearby with experience on the system because McCain was the only ship at the time in U.S. 7th Fleet with IBNS.

“[It was] difficult to get training,” he said.
“We asked for the techs to come over, but they never showed.”

Regardless, Butler said he could have done more to better train his division.

“With time and more training, I could have stopped all that,” he said.

...
 
Posts: 8283 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Festina Lente
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Article posted yesterday - first indication of the official response aimed at correcting the root causes of these incidents.


Surface Warfare: a Running Fix by Vice Adm. Richard Brown

For 242 years, the U.S. Navy — more specifically, the forward-deployed and globally-present surface force — has safeguarded our economic, diplomatic, and military security interests. Our nation’s civilian and military leadership have employed this force in every century of our existence to maintain freedom of movement on the high seas, to protect the flow of goods and services on the world’s oceans, to defend maritime chokepoints, and to preserve a stable environment in which all law-abiding nations can flourish.

Recently, the people and platforms of our surface force expertly launched targeted precision strikes in response to a government’s use of chemical weapons on its own people — the second such incident in as many years. We have sailed our carrier strike groups to project power and deter potential aggression. We have conducted theater anti-submarine warfare to safeguard critical sea lines of communication. We have provided ballistic missile defense to shield our partners and allies.

A team able to deliver those far-reaching and wide-ranging results — as our nation expects and as the U.S. Navy’s surface force has historically produced —must be properly manned, trained, equipped, and well-led. Persistent, demanding, global operations last year exposed vulnerabilities in these areas, which led to the Comprehensive Review (CR) and Strategic Readiness Review (SRR). This “running fix” — the first in a potential series — describes our progress.

The Destination

Operating in a dynamic and increasingly complex environment is unforgiving. It requires every officer and sailor who goes to sea to be a professional mariner and a skilled warfighter. Leadership within this environment demands thoughtful compliance with exacting standards, continuous improvement of processes, and brutally honest self-assessment of both individuals and teams. In a fight where nothing less than control of the seas hangs in the balance, the old adage that “we don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training” rings true.

We owe it to the American people and to our national decision-makers to ensure our surface force is ready to do the nation’s business. We owe it to our shipmates and to ourselves to do whatever we can to emerge victorious from any fight, against any enemy, at a time and place of our choosing. Winning is the only acceptable outcome. That’s our goal — that’s our destination.

So to reach that goal, just as any seasoned mariner planning a voyage would do, we pick waypoints along our journey that serve as opportunities to ensure we are on course and speed. Taken as a whole, these waypoints — at the individual, unit, and fleet levels — gauge our progress, inform adjustments to our course, and ultimately deliver us to our destination, ready to take on any challenge and win over and over again.

First Waypoint: Individual Level Skills

Our surface forces afloat and ashore require surface warfare officers (SWO) of competence and character to lead them. Although the jump from midshipman or officer candidate to ensign is a seismic one, an officer’s professional progression from commissioning to command —the ultimate leadership position —is relatively linear. The best way to gain experience at sea is by being at sea! There is no doubt that sea time contributes to the strength of an officer’s professional foundation. However, a continuum of formal education and experience is also vital to building expertise over time by reinforcing and enhancing the skills learned in ships —and the learning never stops.

Career Progression

Surface warfare is an exacting profession where character, competence, judgment, skill, and experience are blended throughout a career at sea. The SWO career path must have a single goal in mind: to produce commanding officers who are warfighters and leaders of character. It focuses on driving the ship as a division officer, “fighting the ship” (mastering tactics, employing weapons and sensors) as a department head, managing the ship as the executive officer, and commanding the ship as the captain. Moreover, it will develop a commanding officer who possess a full array of warfighting skills, including shiphandling, operations, tactics, combat systems, engineering, and damage control. This career progression will blend classroom training, simulators, shipboard experience, rigorous assessments, and candid feedback.

The first stop along the SWO career path is service as a division officer. Division officers will serve a combined 48 months at sea in ships (either by completing a 30-month first tour followed by an 18-month second tour on a different ship, or by completing a 48-month single longer tour on the same ship). Revised schooling and assessments will occur in between the first and second tour or at around the 30-month point (for those officers completing a single longer tour). In contrast to previous years, second tour division officers will no longer serve in afloat staff billets; as a result, the requisite 18-month second tour in ships in this new career path affords approximately 38 percent more sea time for these junior officers.

Department head and command-level training will continue in Newport, Rhode Island and Dahlgren, Virginia to incorporate shiphandling, navigation, maintenance and tactics with revised assessments and defined go-no-go criteria. Similar to division officer tours, department heads will serve a single longer 36-month tour in one ship or complete two 18-month tours in two ships. Second tour department heads will no longer serve in afloat staff billets. The length of time between department head and executive officer will be shortened as the force evaluates the XO and CO progression. But one thing will not change — a forceful emphasis on the principles at the heart of command: authority, responsibility, accountability, and expertise. These were recently highlighted by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson in his April 2018 Charge of Command. “Command,” he wrote, “is the foundation upon which our Navy rests,” and the SWO career path will be singularly focused on developing commanders who can skillfully and consistently lead their teams to achieve their best possible performance, to include winning decisively in combat.

Training

To build officers immediately ready to stand watch, we will augment the recently re-established nine-week Basic Division Officer Course (BDOC) with a rigorous six-week Officer of the Deck (OOD) bridge watch standing course centered on International Convention on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STCW) requirements. A second phase three-week OOD course will be attended prior to commencing the Advanced Division Officer Course (ADOC) focusing on Bridge Resource Management (BRM) and team building. This course must be passed in order to continue to a fleet-up tour on the same ship or a second division officer tour. Taken together, this new training model will increase formal schoolhouse instruction for first and second tour division officers from 14 weeks to 23 weeks.

Beyond simply increasing the amount of training, we are purposefully re-evaluating the content and quality of the courses, as well. Improvements include inserting operational risk management (ORM) education at every training milestone; defining requalification requirements due to reassignment or shipboard reconfigurations; and augmenting yard patrol craft employment in all officer accession programs. Moreover, better simulations will inject shipboard emergencies, changing environmentals (to include low visibility), and high-density shipping into shiphandling scenarios. Deliberate instruction and targeted feedback will accelerate the learning cycle. And additional assessments at each milestone serve as “force multipliers” and will ensure every minute of training is spent preparing these junior officers for the challenging conditions they can expect to face. These courses are difficult — not all will pass. Standing watch at sea in crowded shipping lanes is hard, but maneuvering the ship with missiles inbound in high-end combat is harder so we must be “brilliant at the basics.”

This cycle of training, assessment, and experience will continue throughout an officer’s career at every afloat milestone — to include command and major command. To that end, experience at sea in ships is the highest assignment priority. Developing commanding officers who maintain an intense focus on winning, ready to sail over the horizon to face any challenge, and bring their team back stronger than when they left is the gold standard — our prominent aid to navigation.

Second Waypoint: Unit Level Readiness

Of course, individual mastery is by itself insufficient. Ships that put to sea are made up of winning teams — teams that must perform at a level greater than the sum of their parts. By necessity, these units must demonstrate proficiency across a wide array of mission sets spanning from internal damage control to long-range anti-air warfare and everything in between. They must possess the tools, techniques, and time to train and be certified for victory in combat.

Team Building

To better challenge our crews for complex environments, we are creating maritime skills training centers (MSTCs) in Norfolk and San Diego that will support high fidelity individual and team training. Just as with individual skills training, they will also facilitate assessments and feedback discussions to ensure a unit’s capabilities match the challenges they can expect to face. Additionally, new watchbill instructions will offer adequate periods for rest and we continue to pursue ways to reduce administrative tasks that do not directly contribute to combat readiness. Immediate supervisors in command (ISIC) have a role to play here, too, and their navigation check-ride will evaluate the proficiency of the ships and crews to safely navigate in a range of scenarios after extended maintenance periods and before a ship deploys. All unit-level training, assessments, and feedback will seek to strengthen and reinforce team building, team leadership, and team effectiveness.

“Readiness” requires units to identify, articulate, and manage risk at the appropriate level. Unit readiness also necessitates a disciplined process to plan, brief, execute, and debrief shipboard training drills, special evolutions, and real-world events to absorb lessons and apply best practices. The Surface and Mine Warfare Development Center (SMWDC) and the creation of warfare tactics instructors (WTI) have been instrumental in this regard, emphasizing the role of doctrine, championing data-driven analytic training approaches, and inculcating a warfighting mentality within our wardrooms and combat information centers.

Equipment

Finally, unit readiness is at least in part a function of the systems installed onboard and the crew’s proficiency to operate them. Consequently, we released a comprehensive Fleet advisory on safe operation of all variants of steering systems; completed a survey of all ships with integrated bridge systems for feedback and lessons learned; established standards for use of the Automatic Identification System when transiting high traffic areas; and evaluated existing “redline” policies with respect to navigation, radar, steering, and propulsion.

Third Waypoint: Fleet Level Employment

Fleet Certification

As the Surface TYCOMs produce and deliver properly manned, trained and equipped ships, the two numbered fleet commanders (3rd Fleet and soon to be 2nd Fleet) produce carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups and independent deployers through intermediate and advanced training. During the intermediate training phase, the Surface and Mine Warfare Development Command (SMWDC) is now into their second year of conducting surface warfare advanced tactical training (SWATT) specifically designed to increase the warfighting capability of our ships and prepare them for the high end Advanced Training and Certification phase conducted by CSG 4 and CSG 15 during COMPTUEX. These units then enter a sustainment period of readiness during which fleet commanders can employ those ready forces — either as part of a carrier or expeditionary strike group, or as independent deployers — within the scope of their training and skill sets to increase our competitive advantage.

For FDNF-J, 7th Fleet is developing intermediate and advanced training exercises similar to SWATT and COMPUTEX to be executed by SMWDC and CSG-15, Valiant Shield Exercise certification events.

Command and Control

Additionally, working hand-in-hand with OPNAV and Fleet leadership, we have taken action to bolster the readiness of our rotational and forward-deployment ships. We cancelled all existing risk assessment mitigation plans (RAMPs) to more closely assess actual readiness across the fleet; we adjusted overseas presence based on future overseas homeporting and strategic laydown plans; we evaluated all current operational requirements in the Western Pacific against available resources; we developed a force generation model for ships based in Japan addressing operational requirements while preserving maintenance, training, and certification windows; and we restored the U.S. Seventh Fleet’s deliberate scheduling process.

Voyage Summary

America is and always will be a maritime nation but the strategic environment in which we sail is fast-paced, increasingly complex, and oftentimes uncertain. Make no mistake: as the National Defense Strategy clearly states, the competition is on for maritime superiority. These factors demand urgency.

We must build teams with the requisite training, skills, and equipment to be effectively employed to fight and win any battle, against any challenge. This requires striking a balance between the ability to produce ready forces and the number of missions to which we assign ready forces. Our three fixed waypoints — mastery of individual skills, unit level readiness, and fleet employment and leadership — will help to achieve that balance even as we retain maritime superiority.

The TYCOM responsibilities are so critical because the stakes are so high. As the CNO made clear, “In our business, the winners sail away and the losers sink to the bottom.”

This is the job of the surface type commanders — we own this and are underway at flank speed.

Vice Adm. Richard Brown is commander of Naval Surface Forces (SURFOR) and commander of Naval Surface Force U.S. Pacific Fleet.

http://www.public.navy.mil/sur...ix.aspx#.WxfZO59KhhG



NRA Life Member - "Fear God and Dreadnaught"
 
Posts: 6501 | Location: in the red zone of the blue state, CT | Registered: October 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Needs a bigger boat
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The command I was recently hired by was mentioned by name in there. They just bumped CSG-4 from a 1 star to a 2 star command. I think all the changes are good ones. The question is, are they good enough? There is a thick, entrenched bureaucracy to everything the fleet does, and change does not come easy. Just look at the last decade or so of ship acquisition. Every time it gets "streamlined" it seems to get worse. Banging my head against some of this stuff right now, it is a steep (and frustrating) curve coming in as a (past 25 years) civilian.



MOO means NO! Be the comet!
 
Posts: 2578 | Location: The Tidewater. VCOA. | Registered: June 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
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quote:
Originally posted by CaptainMike:There is a thick, entrenched bureaucracy to everything the fleet does, and change does not come easy...

Banging my head against some of this stuff right now, it is a steep curve coming in as a (past 25 years) civilian.

It's designed to grind you into submission and ensure your head gets moving the right way for the staff - that is only UP and DOWN, never SIDE to SIDE.



"Yes SIR Yes SIR, 3 bags FULL!"
 
Posts: 40000 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Troubling US Navy review finds widespread shortfalls in basic seamanship
quote:
WASHINGTON — A three-month internal review conducted by senior U.S. surface fleet leaders found some or significant concerns with the ship handling skills of nearly 85 percent of its junior officers, and that many struggled to react decisively to extricate their ship from danger when there was an immediate risk of collision, according to an internal message obtained by Defense News.

Led by the Surface Warfare Officer School, officer of the deck competency checks were conducted on a random selection of OOD-qualified first-tour division officers (the newest officers in the fleet) in underway bridge navigation simulators fleet-wide between January and March. Of the 164 officers who were evaluated, only 27 passed with “no concerns.” Another 108 completed with “some concerns,” and 29 had “significant concerns,” according to the message, which was released by the Navy’s top surface warfare officer Vice Adm. Richard Brown.

Brown, who leads Naval Surface Force Pacific, termed the results “sobering.”

The evaluations raise distressing questions about the level of ship handling training junior officers get both prior to their arrival at their first command and when they arrive.

....

SWOS-in-a-box wasn't a good idea Roll Eyes
Well...they're discovering some hard data that can't be refuted or, swept under the rug. On the other hand, the fact they are just discovering this reveals the SWO community has a ways to go both in their training pipeline AND their certification processes. Next step, how does the command team fare in the same review; do those in charge and responsible for mentoring/training, know how to do the job? After all, a BMC was recently found to not know how the steering system on his ship worked.
 
Posts: 8283 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I believe in the
principle of
Due Process
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It seems the more training they give, the worse it gets!

I’ve had a chance to discuss these distressing events with a number of contemporaries, commissioned decades ago. I was commissioned 50 years ago yesterday.

There was no Surface Warfare Officer then. That started maybe in the late 70’s or so. Those of us who went through OCS in Newport spent some time on YPs, doing maneuvering board problems, playing OOD, reading signals, etc, even the ones going to Supply School, etc. Not enough, but some anyway.

Those who were commissioned out of OCS claim no underway watching standing experience when they reported to their first command. It was all OJT.

The ring knockers had some YP experience as part of Academy curriculum, maybe somewhat more extensive than we had at OCS.

Limited sample size, so no statistical validity.

There was no school for this back then. I went to emergency shiphandling school, a week in classes, mostly dissecting the Andrea Dorea debacle, IIRC.




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
Posts: 48369 | Location: Texas hill country | Registered: July 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
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quote:
Originally posted by JALLEN:
It seems the more training they give, the worse it gets!

I’ve had a chance to discuss these distressing events with a number of contemporaries, commissioned decades ago. I was commissioned 50 years ago yesterday.

There was no Surface Warfare Officer then. That started maybe in the late 70’s or so. Those of us who went through OCS in Newport spent some time on YPs, doing maneuvering board problems, playing OOD, reading signals, etc, even the ones going to Supply School, etc. Not enough, but some anyway.

Those who were commissioned out of OCS claim no underway watching standing experience when they reported to their first command. It was all OJT.

The ring knockers had some YP experience as part of Academy curriculum, maybe somewhat more extensive than we had at OCS.

Limited sample size, so no statistical validity.

There was no school for this back then. I went to emergency shiphandling school, a week in classes, mostly dissecting the Andrea Dorea debacle, IIRC.

Differences include (1) Your CO / XO could likely fire you - ruin your career at the drop of a hat if you were not 'hacking the program', (2) you didn't have to spend 50% of your time doing irrelevant online "GMT" training on gender studies or sensitivity training and (3) CO were COs. They were in charge of their ship and ships spent a lot of time at sea, doing stuff. People made mistakes and learned from them.

Today CO's have been neutered to a large degree. Unless you nod your head in the right direction, have your TPS reports of training completion at 100%, and you never have had any sort of issue with your ship, you are toast. Try to can the right non-hacker without 100 pages of impeccably filed forms and you'll like get the person back to 're-train'.

It was so hard to get rid of non-hackers in Naval Aviation, it almost wasn't worth the effort. I've seen so many 'kick the can' to another squadron or another coast, it's laughable.

Still doesn't absolve the COs in these incidents, however. They knew the score when they signed up and it was their ship on their watch.

Personally, I never aspired to be in charge of a squadron or a ship, so I opted out while I still had my health and my life ahead of me to enjoy.
 
Posts: 40000 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The onion of Surface Warfare continues to get peeled back and, it doesn't smell good. 23 separate steering control systems Eek That's a separate system for every single class of ship, and a few more oddities just for shits and giggles. This is on the admirals and captains who are in-charge of authorizing such.

NAVSEA: Navy Ships Using 23 Different Steering Control Systems; Simpler Systems Needed
quote:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — When watchstanders on USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) lost control of the ship’s steering and collided with a merchant ship last summer, they were using one of 23 steering control systems found in the fleet today, and not one that they were trained to use.

Naval Sea Systems Command commander Vice Adm. Tom Moore said today that as industry and government look to bring new capabilities into the fleet, they often seek to cram in as many bells and whistles as possible. But he warned that simplicity and user-friendliness are also virtues that should be considered.

“Certainly on our side of the house, as we design systems … sometimes in our desire to make them more capable and provide more options and more bells and whistles, we add a level of complexity that’s probably not needed, and in fact in some cases may cause the average deck plate sailor challenges,” he said at the American Society of Naval Engineers’ annual Technology, Systems and Ships conference.
“I think we’ve got to be very careful with these systems going forward that, one, they have capability that matches and is above what our peers have, but I think we have to recognize also that we have to involve the user and we have to make sure from a human systems interface standpoint that we don’t make it so complex that that complexity causes us problems.”

Moore cited the McCain collision as an example. In that case, the watch team – which included sailors from damaged cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54), who were operating aboard the destroyer rather than sitting pierside while their ship was repaired – was unfamiliar with the particulars of the ship’s new digital integrated bridge and navigation system.

Commanding Officer Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez ordered the responsibilities of steering the ship and maintaining the throttle to be split between to watch stations on the bridge – the helm control and the nearby lee helm, USNI News has previously reported.

“This unplanned shift caused confusion in the watch team, and inadvertently led to steering control transferring to the lee helm station without the knowledge of the watch team,” according to a summary of the investigation released late last year.
“The CO had only ordered speed control shifted. Because he did not know that steering had been transferred to the lee helm, the Helmsman perceived a loss of steering.”

Moore said that after the collision he was asked to put out a fleet advisory on the steering control system, to give guidance to help other ships avoid similar mishaps. Moore said he found there were 23 separate steering control systems and he had to write fleet advisories for each one.

“That’s not a real recipe for success,” the admiral said of having so many systems.

In comparison, he said there are thousands of car makes and models, and while the average driver may not be able to figure out all the bells and whistles when sitting in the driver’s seat for the first time, any driver could safely drive the car because the steering wheel, the gas pedal and the brakes are all in the same place and work the same in each car.

“I think we need to be mindful going forward that technology is important and we have to embrace it, but we’ve got to use it in a way that … we don’t make it so complex that the average user can’t make use of it when he’s out at sea. I think we can do both of those things going forward, but we may have gotten away from that here on some of the recent things that we’ve done.”
 
Posts: 8283 | Location: Wine Country | Registered: September 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of SeaCliff
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My heart goes out to the sailors lost.
I don't know how it is today but a hit like that not much you can do. Back 50 years ago I went thru DC(damage control)school. Not every sailor only ones on particular teams. Same as Fire fighting school.

Most just get what basic training teaches.
You get taught that there is only so much you can do to contain, then its time to secure compartments.
 
Posts: 1632 | Location: San Diego | Registered: October 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
wishing we
were congress
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https://news.usni.org/2018/06/...e2&mc_eid=cd9005089f

The former commander of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and two junior officers will not face negligent homicide charges for their role in a collision off the coast of Japan that killed seven sailors last year, USNI News has learned.

Instead, ship commander Cmdr. Bryce Benson and Lt. Natalie Combs will face charges that include negligent hazarding a vessel and dereliction of duty resulting in death at general courts-martial, according to a Tuesday Navy statement. Lt. Irian Woodley, who was on duty with Combs, had all criminal charges against him dropped and will instead likely be separated from the Navy following a board of inquiry.

The decision to move ahead with the prosecution of Combs and Benson on lesser charges was made by Adm. James F. Caldwell, according to a Navy statement provided to USNI News on Tuesday. Caldwell is acting as the consolidated decision authority (CDA) for the accountability actions from last year’s fatal Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) collisions. He had originally issued the homicide charges against Woodley, Combs and Benson in January.

Benson was asleep in his cabin when the merchant ship ACX Crystal collided with Fitzgerald on June 17, 2017. Combs and Woodley were on duty in the destroyer’s Combat Information Center when the collision occurred. Prosecutors argued that the Combs and Woodley should have done more to help the bridge crew understand they were in danger as the ship transited a busy merchant shipping lane near Japan.

News of the lesser charges for Benson and Combs follows the recommendation earlier this month from an Article 32 hearing officer who said Combs and Woodley should face no charges for their role in the collision.

In his recommendation to drop criminal charges, Cmdr. Anthony Johnson said poor performance of Woodley and Combs in their duties wasn’t inherently criminal and didn’t merit a court-martial. He also said the objectively light punishment for the Fitzgerald officer of the deck Lt. j.g. Sarah B. Coppock, who bore responsibility for the collision, was a major part of his recommendation to not push the cases forward. Coppock faced similar homicide and negligence charges but pleaded guilty to one count of dereliction of duty as part of a plea agreement.
 
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goodheart
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quote:
Tip: Pentagon Covering Up Fact That Female Officers Nearly Sank Navy Ship
Posted on | June 17, 2018 | 195 Comments

The USS Fitzgerald after a deadly collision with a freighter in June 2017.

An anonymous email came in over the transom this morning:

Hi, Stacy.
During the early weeks after the USS Fitzgerald was speared by a lumbering Philippine container ship, it was noteworthy that the captain and a couple of admirals were publically named, but not the actual officer in charge, the officer of the deck. (OOD) The other person who should have kept the Fitz out of trouble is the person in charge of the combat information center, the Tactical Action Officer. That individual is supposed to be monitoring the combat radar, which can detect a swimmer at a distance of two miles.
Not until a year later, when the final reports are made public and the guilty parties have been court-martialed, does the truth come out. The OOD was named Sarah, and the Tactical Action Officer was named Natalie, and they weren’t speaking to each other!!! The Tactical Action Officer would normally be in near constant communication with the OOD, but there is no record of any communication between them that entire shift!
Another fun fact: In the Navy that won WWII, the damage control officers were usually some of the biggest and strongest men aboard, able to close hatches, shore up damaged areas with timbers, etc. The Fitz’s damage control officer was also a woman, and she never left the bridge. She handled the aftermath of the accident remotely, without lifting a finger herself!
Look it up: The OOD was Sarah Coppock, Tactical Action Officer was Natalie Combs. . . .
When I noticed last year that they were doing all they could to keep the OOD’s name out of the headlines, I speculated to my son that it was a she. Turns out all the key people (except one officer in the CIC) were female!

Indeed, I did some searching, and Lt. Coppock pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty. Lt. Combs faced a hearing last month:

In an 11-hour hearing, prosecutors painted a picture of Lt. Irian Woodley, the ship’s surface warfare coordinator, and Lt. Natalie Combs, the tactical action officer, as failing at their jobs, not using the tools at their disposal properly and not communicating adequately. They became complacent with faulty equipment and did not seek to get it fixed, and they failed to communicate with the bridge, the prosecution argued. Had they done those things, the government contended, they would have been able to avert the collision.

That two of the officers — Coppock and Combs — involved in this fatal incident were female suggests that discipline and training standards have been lowered for the sake of “gender integration,” which was a major policy push at the Pentagon during the Obama administration. It could be that senior officers, knowing their promotions may hinge on enthusiastic support for “gender integration,” are reluctant to enforce standards for the women under their command.

This was the story of Kara Hultgreen, the Navy pilot who died in a 1994 F-14 crash. Investigation showed that Hultgreen had been allowed to proceed in her training after errors that would have meant a washout for any male pilot. But the Clinton administration was pushing for female fighter pilots, which resulted in a competition between the Navy and Air Force to put women into these combat roles. It is not necessary to believe that (a) women shouldn’t be fighter pilots, in order to believe (b) lowering standards for the sake of quotas is a bad idea. Of course, you may believe both (a) and (b), but it is (b) that gets people killed.

It seems obvious that the Pentagon (and the liberal media) sought to suppress full knowledge of what happened to the Fitzgerald in the immediate aftermath of the June 2017 incident that killed seven sailors, in the same way the details of Kara Hultgreen’s death were suppressed. It took investigative reporters like Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times a lot of hard work to find out what actually happened to Hultgreen. Let’s hope other reporters will dig into what’s happening in our military with the “gender intergration” agenda at the Pentagon now.


Link


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I need to be careful here, as my daughter in law, who I think the world and more besides of, is pinning on her 4th stripe in less than 24 hours in Washington, DC.

From the first minute I heard of this incident, I have been unable to understand how it could happen that a Navy ship would be run down by an enormous cargo ship with the Captain in his bunk, or in his stateroom anyway, no call no nothing. Poor training, inexperience sure, but everyone knows to call the Captain in certain situations. This sure would be one, and he would have been called a long time before the crash. It is inconceivable to me that the Captain would not be called.

Now we find out that Natalie and Sarah weren’t speaking.




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
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The article does make the point that the issue is more likely the lowering of standards rather than gender inequality per se.


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His Royal Hiney
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quote:
Originally posted by JALLEN:

Now we find out that Natalie and Sarah weren’t speaking.


Seriously. And maybe it has something to do that they were women but, since this is the military, it speaks of their professionalism.

I even put more on the CIC as the article says she could see they were in trouble. I'm thinking the CIC wanted the bridge officer to get in trouble to show her up. Nice going, getting people killed to feed your sense of vengeance.



"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual." Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, 1946.
 
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The U.S. Navy has dedicated one of its Japan-based guided missile destroyers to ailing U.S. Sen. John McCain.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer added the Arizona Republican's name to the USS John S. McCain, which had already been named for McCain's father and grandfather. All three generations of McCains have the same name.

"As a warrior and a statesman who has always put country first, Sen. John McCain never asked for this honor, and he would never seek it," Spencer said. "But we would be remiss if we did not etch his name alongside his illustrious forebears, because this country would not be the same were it not for the courageous service of all three of these great men."

The guided-missile destroyer was named after McCain's father and grandfather, both Navy veterans, when it was launched in 1994. McCain was a naval aviator who was imprisoned and tortured during the Vietnam War. The 81-year-old lawmaker is battling brain cancer.

In August 2017, 10 sailors were killed when the McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore. Two months earlier, seven sailors died when the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a commercial ship off the coast of Japan.

Spencer told reporters after the ceremony that changes to naval practices recommended after the accidents have been 78 percent implemented. Some are completed, while others such as instilling a culture of continuous learning will take two years.

Work to repair the McCain is ongoing at Yokosuka Naval Base south of Tokyo and Spencer told reporters the Navy hopes to put the ship back out to sea next spring.

Link




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
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I hope they can keep it from firing missiles at its own base.


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It's not just a USN thing. Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate collides with Maltese-flagged oil tanker in NATO exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 18. Only some minor injuries, but the warship might sink.

quote:

Oil tanker and frigate collide off Norway, 7 injured

OSLO (AFP) - A Norwegian navy frigate and a Maltese oil tanker collided in a fjord in western Norway on Thursday (Nov 8), local authorities said, with seven people receiving minor injuries.

The KNM Helge Ingstad frigate, which was returning from Nato's Trident Juncture exercises, was evacuated after the collision with the Sola TS tanker, Norway's army said.

"It took on a lot of water and there is a real danger that it sinks where it is," an official for the Sola rescue centre told AFP.

An image published by Norwegian broadcaster NRK showed that water had almost reached the level of the frigate's helicopter platform.

A total of 137 people were on board the frigate, while 23 were on the tanker, which was flying the Maltese flag, the official said.

The 62,000-tonne tanker received only slight damage and is waiting to be towed to a nearby oil terminal, the rescue centre official said.

"A small oil slick from the frigate has been detected, but nothing large," the official added.

The circumstances of the accident, which took place shortly after 4am in the Hjeltefjord, near Bergen, are not yet clear.

"The armed forces is now reviewing all the means available in the region to assist the KNM Helge Ingstad," Lieutenant Colonel Ivar Moen told AFP.

Built in 2009, the KNM Helge Ingstad participated in chemical disarmament operations in Syria between December 2013 and May 2014.


https://www.straitstimes.com/w...off-norway-7-injured

 
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It makes me wonder how older naval warships would have fared against these types of collisions. I was reading that a lot of these modern warships are more lightly built compared to the warships of WW2. During WW2 ships had to be armored to be able to endure naval gunfire from naval guns. Instead of heavy armor, modern warships more have to worry about missiles and have counter measures and weapons to protect themselves from the missiles. God Bless Smile


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quote:
Originally posted by VBVAGUY:
It makes me wonder how older naval warships would have fared against these types of collisions.


they would have fared much much better... four inches of hardened steel is better than 1/4 inch of mild steel, or an aluminum superstructure....

but then they were sailors back then and did what they were supposed to do. like CIC talking to the bridge and keeping track of vessels in the area....and calling the Captain when ships came w/i "X" amount of miles/yards......

I was in the coast guard and even on the little cutters we had, standing rule was to wake the Skipper when a target was w/i one mile....unless he SPECIFICALLY said "Don't wake me up-I need some sleep and avoid all targets", several skippers I served under used to tell the bridge and OOD to just go cut squares I need sleep...



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
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