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delaney

New 7th Fleet Commander

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So - the Navy announced the removal of the 7th Fleet commander yesterday.  Probably just the start of major changes to come.  The loss of 7 sailors on Fitz and now 10 more on the McCain.  I still cannot figure our how a 800' long freighter broadsides a 500' long battle ready destroyer?  Talk about a complete failure of seamanship.  Even if this is a new form of terrorism - meaning, what if a foreign gov't paid freight captains to ram our battleships.  it is plausible - a freighter appears harmless and has every right to be in the water relatively close to our ships traveling on the same course only to slightly alter course and rely on the ship to not react quickly enough.  seems this happened twice in 2 months.  how can the exact same accident happen?  both ships were struck mid ship and basically removed (2) destroyers from the US Navy for the next few years while they are repaired or scrapped.  $1billion in damage and 17 sailors lost.  not to mention removal of our admiral, and most likely the officers and senior crews of both ships.  that is quite the wound to our Navy with only minor damage done to a couple of container ships.  if these accidents to our 7th fleet are new forms of warfare we are in a tough spot.  any approaching non-military ship if fired on will have international uproar that a US vessel sunk a defenseless vessel.  If they are simply accidents than our Navy and those crews were woefully incompetent especially the McCain crew as just 2 months earlier they should have learned a valuable lesson and all captains should have given orders to keep safe distances period!!  

Pardon my rant but (2) of my sons are entering the Navy and these recent accidents are unacceptable, the tragic loss of life over stupid actions or non actions by those in command have me concerned as a father and a citizen.

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How does our Navy even allow any ship to get that close without being detected? Isn't their a "Radar Officer" watching area traffic?

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Intentional? Cargo ship chasing and destroying a destroyer ... give me a break. They should have been thousands of feet apart and safe separation distance in the narrows ... at all time, no matter what.

The first case, a destroyer was a give way ship, period. The second case, a destroyer failed or refused to give up its stand on status. Mind boggling ... the worst of the lake boaters are at not even that bold (read stupid, arrogant, ignorant, etc).

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Arrogance causes accidents.

" Do not change course !! We have the right of way !!!!!!!!!!!!

Helmsman !! I said hold present course !!  "        

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Busy harbors at night are a horizon of lights sometimes.

If the freighter had a backdrop of other freighters with their lights on traveling in roughly the same direction ?  Even the clear might would not be enough for a visual , accurate time span. Been there on well lit up New Jersey shore line at night.  Only radar was really accurate soon enough.

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Who's teaching these guys  the right of way rules.

I agree D some thing is not cricket here.

 

.

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They are investigating whether the ships systems were hacked. That would be scary. If they can hack the guidance system who is to say they couldn't hack the weapon systems as well.  

  It's also noted that the USS John McCain was also involved in another incident earlier in the month where the ship sailed to close to some man made Chinese islands. 

On purpose is a interesting theory and is plausible.   I don't know why the captain of a ship would risk his own ship, His life, the life of his crew or his career doing something like this on purpose.  People do stupid things all the time though. 

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2 hours ago, Kwood92 said:

They are investigating whether the ships systems were hacked. That would be scary. If they can hack the guidance system who is to say they couldn't hack the weapon systems as well.  

That would be an interesting conjuncture ... a hack or malfunction, a very serious prospect. There was a number of navigational incidents related to electronic charts and glass helm since they were adopted by the Navy. All those were part of the learning curve and had not resulted in a collision between ships. They were errors in navigation rather than skewed situational awareness or lost control of the ship.

2 hours ago, Kwood92 said:

It's also noted that the USS John McCain was also involved in another incident earlier in the month where the ship sailed to close to some man made Chinese islands. 

That could have been just an exercise of Freedom of Navigation, but I do not know the details.

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Are we so poor that the ships DO NOT have enough PEOPLE standing on the bridge.    DRIVING    the ship by hand ?   Stupid BLIND FAITH that a USN AUTO PILOT system will be accurate in all situations? 

Machines DO HAVE ERRATIC & INTERMITTANT problems   !!!!!!!!!!!!!    Good grief.   Get real about machines  !!!!!!!!!!!

How stupid can the military be to depend on electronics and machines completely.  To reduce the operating expenses ?  What did they save ??  Totaled out damages  ?

I do not see how the crew DID NOT take control MANUALLY & steer away from the slow freighter column of ships.

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what i find interesting is the difference in information available to the public compared to the Fitz accident.  In the Fitz accident navy released paths of both ships and reactions.  navy is not releasing the path of either ship (that i can find online) from the McCain.  I sound like a conspiracy theory person and usually i am not.  i just cannot wrap my head around 2 accidents more or less the same.  Maybe the first was a true accident and maybe the 2nd was a low cost version of terrorism or warfare (China??)  to remove warships from the area. again, it would be the cheapest way to remove a multi-billion $$ ship from service (2 ships now)  each w/ repairs bills into the hundreds of millions and years of repairs.  So sad for the sailors who lost their lives - accident or other 

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Its like the US moving from a .308 to the .223 round.  You don't need to kill the enemy, just take him out of action.  And in fact tie up resources to attend to his wounds.  If it was hacking, its a great way to wound a couple of ships, and tie up resources in figuring out what went wrong and repairing the damage.  

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It sounds like we are saying the crews were UNABLE to take manual control of the ships to avoid collision.  Or that with the captain sleeping. No one wanted to change course & speed until it was too late.

I am very disappointed in the running of the ENTIRE chain of command to allow collisions like this to happen.  It stinks very badly with so many occurring so close together.

More hacking ?  Might be possible. But TAKING CONTROL & crashing ?  Serious screw up if the people on the bridge could not or were prevented from taking manual control soon enough.

ships are replaceable. People are not !!

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Don't know cause I wasn't there. but my 10 years in the Navy saw watch standers 24x7x365, even on the fan tail, who had the responsibility of seeing this stuff. No one is going to tell me that none of the watch standers and radar didn't see an 800' cargo ship bearing down on them IF they were indeed "watching" in either of these tragic cases.

All the automated systems have overrides, up to and usually including operating the aft steering gear by manual pumps, if need be. I was on a couple of ships we practiced manual steering via the pumps, from time to time. Back breaking work, but needed to be ready if and when the time come..

Someone was "asleep at the wheel." Ultimate responsibility lies with the captain and goes up the chain from there, hence Commander of the 7th fleet.

Stand on ship should give way to a give way ship, if the give way isn't going to alter speed or course. Deal with that AFTER the collision is avoided. No place for arrogance or being bullheaded when near another ship.

Bet there will be lots more training and drilling sessions for all, now.

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Interesting you bring up steering. The other day, I went down to our Naval Park and boarded the ship "The Sullivans." Interesting find that there is a steering wheel in the aft section of the ship to steer the ship if the primary steering is unable to due to mechanical problems or damaged. Never knew that.

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Yup. One ship I was on, we had a control station on the after deck house, incase the bridge was blown or, believe it or not, the ship was blown in half. Theory was, we could make way with aft section if front half was blown off. Didn't want to test that one.

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