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Five sailors injured, 10 missing after ANOTHER U.S. Navy destroyer collides with a merchant ship

Discussion in 'Politics Forum (Local/National/World)' started by Goldhedge, Aug 20, 2017.



  1. mayhem

    mayhem Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    Who do they think they are kidding. Both China and Russia track every move they make by Sat, and vise versa. Everyone knows where everyone is every minute of the day.
     
  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    USS John S. McCain to Be Repaired in Japan

    October 4, 2017 by gCaptain

    [​IMG]
    Damage can been seen to the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC off Singapore on Aug. 21. U.S. Navy Photo

    The U.S. Navy will repair the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) at the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka, Japan.

    Repairs will begin upon arrival from Singapore aboard a heavy lift vessel in October, the Navy said.

    “Damage assessments conducted while the ship was moored in Singapore since the Aug. 21 collision revealed the scope of work could be completed in Japan at the lowest estimated cost and returns the ship to full service at the earliest opportunity,” the Navy said in a statement.

    “Repairing the ship in Yokosuka, where it is already part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) assigned to U.S. Seventh Fleet, also provides stability and continuity to crew members and their families,” the statement added.

    In addition to supporting repairs, the McCain’s crew will focus on training, readiness and certifications to prepare the ship for its return to the Seventh Fleet, according to the Navy.

    USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21.

    The collision killed ten U.S. Navy sailors and caused significant damage to the hull of the McCain, which resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms.

    The McCain incident followed a collision involving the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a merchant tanker off the coast of Japan in June. In that case, the U.S. Navy decided to contract a semi-submersible heavy lift vessel to transport the USS Fitzgerald to Ingalls Shipbuilding Pascagoula, Mississippi for repairs.

    Investigations are underway to determine the facts and circumstances of both collisions.

    http://gcaptain.com/uss-john-s-mccain-to-be-repaired-in-japan/
     
  3. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  4. the_shootist

    the_shootist The war is here on our doorstep! Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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  5. Professur

    Professur Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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  6. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    USS John S. McCain Heavy Lift
    gCaptain



    Published on Oct 9, 2017
    The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) has been loaded onto the heavy lift transport MV Treasure for its transport to Fleet Activities Yokosuka for repairs following its collision with a merchant tanker off Singapore on August 20.

    The lift took place at sea in the waters off Singapore on October 6.
     
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  7. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  8. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  9. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    That must have taken all day to get it in dry dock.
     
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  10. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Navy Relieves USS John S. McCain Commander, Executive Officer Over ‘Preventable’ Collision

    October 11, 2017 by Reuters

    [​IMG]
    The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) loaded on the deck of the heavy lift transport MV Treasure, October 6, 2017. Treasure is currently transporting McCain to Fleet Activities Yokosuka for repairs. U.S. Navy


    TOKYO Oct 11 (Reuters) – The collision of the USS John S.McCain guided missile destroyer with a merchant ship near Singapore in August that killed 10 sailors was preventable, the U.S. Navy said after it relieved the warship’s commander and his deputy from their duties.

    “While the investigation is ongoing, it is evident the collision was preventable, the commanding officer exercised poor judgement, and the executive officer exercised poor leadership of the ship’s training program,” the USS Seventh Fleet said in a statement released in Japan on Wednesday.

    A spate of U.S. naval collisions this year has resulted in a major leadership shake up in the U.S. Navy in Asia as it tackles increased tensions with North Korea and engages in operations in the South China Sea that challenge Beijing’s growing control of the waterway.

    The U.S. Navy in August ordered a fleet wide probe and removed Seventh Fleet chief Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, citing a lack of confidence in his ability to command.

    Last month Admiral Scott Swift, responsible for U.S. naval forces in the Pacific, said he plans to retire after being passed over for promotion to the chief of all military forces in the region.

    The McCain’s sister ship, the Fitzgerald, almost sank off the coast of Japan in June after colliding with a Philippine container ship. That incident claimed the lives of seven U.S. sailors.

    In May, a South Korean fishing vessel collided with the guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain, while another guided-missile cruiser, Antietam, damaged its propellers in January while anchoring in Tokyo Bay.

    The McCain’s captain, Commander A. Sanchez, and his executive officer, Commander J. Sanchez, were reassigned to other duties in Japan, where the Seventh Fleet is headquartered, the Navy said.

    The Seventh Fleet operates as many as 70 ships, including the U.S. navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, and has about 140 aircraft and 20,000 sailors.

    (Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Michael Perry)

    (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017.

    http://gcaptain.com/navy-relieves-u...executive-officer-over-preventable-collision/
     
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  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    The “Navy Way” is the Wrong Course

    October 13, 2017 by Editorial

    [​IMG]
    The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) arrives pier side at Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, August 21, 2017. U.S. Navy Photo

    A Ship Pilot’s Perspective on What’s Happening to the U.S. Navy

    By Captain Paul E. LoboAs a retired Lieutenant-Commander in the US Naval Reserve, and a San Francisco bar pilot with over 31 years’ experience, I find the recent collisions of US Navy vessels and the resulting loss of life disheartening and incomprehensible.

    And, much to my dismay, these incidents could have been prevented – that is, if the Navy would stop operating like, well,..the Navy.

    As a bar pilot, my job was bringing all vessels, great and small, into San Francisco Bay. That meant coming aboard and taking navigational control of the ship to entry into the bay. During my career, I piloted over 6,500 ships, 155 of them naval vessels (mostly US, with some foreign).

    My recent book, Crossing the Bar: The Adventures of a San Francisco Bay Bar Pilot, includes a chapter about piloting US Navy ships. I admit I was and continue to be amazed at the expertise that allows massive jets to land successfully at night on a carrier cruising at 30 knots. I was on the USS Carl Vincent during flight ops, and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

    Despite the skills I witnessed, however, I have to conclude from the recent Navy vessel collisions that today’s Navy seems to be becoming more and more incompetent. Complacent? Within one month, in peacetime, two Navy ships had loss of life (this must be some sort of sad record), and we’ve since learned that training was lacking as was the proper certification.

    Today’s Navy seems to have ignored the need to learn the basics of seamanship. One of the first rules of going to sea is relatively simple: if another ship is getting closer and their bearing stays the same, IT WILL HIT YOU. This happened twice in one month! In admiralty law, a ship only has the right-of-way until she reaches extremis,[1] then she must get out of the way or will be found partially to blame. There is no excuse for a modern destroyer not to get out of the way even if it has the right-of-way. Large commercial vessels take miles to stop, but the Navy’s two guided missile destroyers hit midships can maneuver on a dime. I know, because I piloted them.

    Getting hit on your starboard side is a sure sign of not knowing the rules — and what have been the consequences, given the fatalities? In 2007, one of my partners crashed a ship and spilled fuel oil into San Francisco Bay. He went to federal prison for 10 months for killing migratory birds.[2] What is the punishment for officers whose shipmates die due to their lack of knowledge? Did these watch officers get drug tested? Did they go to simulator school? Did they memorize the Rules of the Road? (During one of my reserve tours, the ship’s captain couldn’t believe I knew ALL the rules by heart. Apparently, none of the other Officers of the Deck did.)

    Second, there are far too many personnel on Navy ships, which is not only costly, but can be distracting when cruising at 25 knots. One example of this over-manning: the Navy still uses “Norwegian Steam” – that is, manpower and muscle versus mechanized winches — to heave in mooring lines. Consider that a modern 1,200-foot commercial container ship operates with only about 20 sailors aboard, and the ship owners are talking about unmanned ships as we speak. A small[3] naval ship, such as the USS McCain[4], has 281 men and women aboard. Not only is this crowded, but you must berth and feed all of them, which means more bodies. I have piloted several carriers and counted as many as 40 people on the bridge while we were entering port, and it makes for a distracting work environment, to say the least.

    Being “PC” is another sore point. The Navy seems to be more concerned with political correctness and social responsibility training than with instruction in seamanship.[5] Inclusion of women aboard ship is a commendable goal, but a record 16 out of 100 Navy women were reassigned from ships to shore duty last year due to pregnancy[6]. Female Navy personnel unexpectedly leave their stations on Navy ships as much as 50% more frequently than men to return to land duty. As Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said in a recent interview, “A pregnancy takes you out of action for about two years. And there’s no replacement, so everybody else has to work all that harder.” On small ships and submarines, she added, “you really have a potential crew disaster.”

    The Navy culture also relies on the use of many assistants. There are advantages to the system, to be sure, but aboard ship, without one individual “running the show,” the potential for confusion and error increases exponentially. Yet, still, the Navy way continues. During my career, some commanding officers would not give me the “Conn” until their ship got into trouble – and in San Francisco Bay, that potential always existed. When the worse happened, I was quickly requested to take over piloting and straighten out the mess.

    Perhaps the Navy crews didn’t want other ships to know where they were, so they didn’t answer radio calls from vessels that might be confused by their conduct? Well, stealth mode is great in times of war, but in the real world, all ships must obey the International Rules of the Nautical Road.

    My training at New York Maritime College and decades of experience as a Navy Reserve officer and bar pilot tell me that any investigation into the recent collisions should focus on the basics. Hopefully, any investigative commission will include recommendations that the Navy look to commercial fleets for ways to improve seagoing operations in the future. Less redundancy in terms of personnel, a greater emphasis on basic seamanship, and a willingness to streamline operations in terms of crew numbers may well avoid future disasters.

    Navy traditions are near and dear to this old sailor’s heart, but rethinking the “Navy way” is critical if we are to avoid more tragedy. As we have sadly seen, lives hang in the balance.

    Related Book: Crossing the Bar: The Adventures of a San Francisco Bay Bar Pilot by Captain Paul Lobo

    Captain Paul Lobo holds a U.S. Masters License and Unlimited First Class Pilotage for San Francisco and Humboldt Bay, CA. He was appointed to the position of San Francisco Bar Pilot in February, 1977, the youngest pilot appointed by the State’s commission and Governor since 1850. He retired in 2008 after 31 years of service. His first book, “Crossing the Bar: The Adventures of a San Francisco Bay Bar Pilot,” published by Skyhorse Press, was voted one of the top five nautical non-fiction books for 2016.

    Footnotes:

    1 Extremis, in lay terms, means the point at which action must be taken
    2 The Migratory Bird Act is used to stop farmers from killing migratory birds landing in their fields.
    3 550’ x 66’ is a tiny ship by today’s standards
    4 Named for John S. McCain, Sr. and John S. McCain, Jr., both Admirals in the US Navy. Grandfather and father to US Senator McCain, Jr. of AZ.
    5 The Naval Academy discontinued teaching celestial
    navigation, but recently reinstituted it.
    6 From the Navy Personnel Command.


    http://gcaptain.com/the-navy-way-is-the-wrong-course/
     
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  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  16. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Destroyer USS John S. McCain Developed Hull Crack in Transit on Heavy Lift Vessel; Ship Routed to Philippines for Inspection
    By: Megan Eckstein
    October 21, 2017 10:54 AM

    [​IMG]
    USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) departs Singapore on the heavy lift transport MV Treasure, Oct. 11, 2017. US Navy Photo


    Destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) developed a 4-inch crack in its hull while being transported via heavy lift vessel and will be rerouted to the Philippines for inspection, a U.S. 7th Fleet spokesman told USNI News.

    Following an Aug. 21 collision with merchant vessel Alnic MC, McCain was being transported from Singapore, where the collision occurred, to Yokosuka, Japan, where repairs will take place. During the transit on heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure, the crack – “about four inches long on the starboard side, amidships” with an accompanying small dent – was noticed, Cmdr. Clay Doss told USNI News.

    The new damage, combined with inclement weather and heavy seas associated with Typhoon Lan, forced Treasure to reroute to the Philippines.

    “Once pier side, experts will inspect the crack and determine if any additional repairs are needed before continuing to Yokosuka,” Doss said.
    “MV Treasure had already slowed because of the storm, and pulling in allows inspection of the small crack while the weather improves.”

    The Navy determined McCain could be repaired in Yokosuka, Japan, due to the nature of the damage – berthing and mechanical spaces were flooded and damaged, but many of the major electrical systems were unharmed, unlike the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) collision that destroyed the ship’s radar and combat system. Transporting the ship to Japan instead of the United States for repairs would be the quicker and less costly decision, with the Navy determining the repairs could be completed in Yokosuka for about $223 million.

    https://news.usni.org/2017/10/21/de...-being-rerouted-to-philippines-for-inspection
     
  17. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    U.S. Navy Orders Back-to-Basics Reforms After Deadly Collisions

    November 2, 2017 by Reuters

    [​IMG]
    The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) underway in the Phillippine Sea, June 14, 2017. U.S. Navy Photo



    By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy announced a series of systemic reforms on Thursday aimed at restoring basic naval skills and alertness at sea after a review of deadly ship collisions in the Asia-Pacific showed sailors were under-trained and over-worked.

    Seventeen sailors were killed this year in two collisions with commercial vessels involving guided-missile destroyers, the Fitzgerald in June off Japan and then the John S. McCain in August as it approached Singapore.

    Those were not the only mishaps involving U.S. Navy sailors this year, which also saw the guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain collide with a fishing vessel in the Sea of Japan in May. The guided-missile cruiser Antietam grounded in January in Tokyo Bay.

    “What happened was a gradual erosion of the margins of safety,” Admiral John Richardson, who as the chief of naval operations is the Navy’s top uniformed officer, told a news briefing, as he unveiled the results of the broad Navy review.

    Read the Results: Comprehensive Review of Surface Force Incidents

    Rising pressure to meet demands for more and more Navy operations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, led those in command to rationalize declining standards that ranged from basic seamanship to operational safety, Richardson said.

    The Navy’s review called for reforms that will cost between $400 and $500 million over the next five to six years, including periodic, standardized assessments of seamanship and bolstering training of navigation fundamentals.

    It also involved ensuring back-to-basics measures like ensuring sailors get enough sleep. The Navy said fatigue was a contributing factor in the Fitzgerald and John S. McCain collisions.

    Senator Roger Wicker, the chairman of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee, said the Navy needed more ships to meet the demands for operations at sea. Boosting the size of the Navy is a key objective of Republican President Donald Trump.

    “We are asking too few ships to do too many things,” said Wicker, a Republican.

    Representative Mac Thornberry, who heads the House Armed Services Committee, also said the sailors’ deaths were “entirely avoidable” and added the Navy was being asked “to do too much with too few resources.”

    “The Navy is committed to addressing these issues, but they cannot fix them on their own. Congress has a role to play as well,” Thornberry said.

    “I am ready to support the Navy’s request for any additional training, manpower, or equipment they need to prevent these tragedies in the future.”

    During the summer, there was speculation that cyber warfare might have been to blame for the repeated mishaps, which stunned the Pentagon. The Navy, during its investigations, ruled out the possibility that hacking was to blame.

    “These ships in the 7th Fleet did not master the fundamentals,” Richardson said. (Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Frances Kerry)

    (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017.

    http://gcaptain.com/u-s-navy-orders-back-to-basics-reforms-after-deadly-collisions/
     
  18. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    US Navy Memo: Back-To-Basics OR Outdated-And-Ridiculous?

    November 3, 2017 by John Konrad

    [​IMG]
    Storm at sea photo by Anatoly Menzhiliy / Shutterstock

    By Captain John Konrad (gCaptain) After reading the U.S. Naval orders for Back-to-Basics reforms and the USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain investigation reports along with expert analysis by naval experts I’ve known for years and trust implicitly… my mind is blank.

    The errors made aboard those Navy ships were so fundamental, so basic as to be unbelievable to a professional mariner. But this is not the first time I’ve been at a loss for words.

    Many years ago in the Bay of Bengal, during the height of monsoon season, I was Chief Mate aboard a rusting ship built in the mid-seventies. A ship that some naval architect decided to cut a giant hole in the center of and mount a towering oil derrick above. It was late at night and none of the 150+ crew had slept in days except for the Captain who was soundly snoring in his stateroom. A mile away was a Tidewater workboat older and rustier than us. That boat had badly needed supplies and material on her deck. My Captain had given me one order “I don’t care about the 10 meter swell or the howling wind get those boxes off that workboat before I wake up”.

    I had not even started to figure out how the hell I was going to do that when the radio operator paged me with the message “Mr. Ambani is on the phone.” The call was short. Mr. Amabni, the man who was paying our exorbitant day rate, simply wanted to tell us his vast resources were at our disposal for the task of getting those boxes off the workboat.

    Then I made a few calls myself, to some people who know a lot about weather and dynamically positioning a drillship… and came up with a plan to position our ship to provide a relatively calm lee for the workboat to come alongside.

    We put the plan into action and then I went up to the bridge and called the workboat Captain on the VHF. “Any questions Capt?” I asked after sharing my plan.

    “Just one.” He replied in a calm voice. “Do you prefer Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops?”

    “Umm…. why?” I asked

    “Because you’re an idiot, your plan is going to kill someone and I can only think of one reason why you are on that big ship while I’m on this small one… because some cereal box is giving away free Master Unlimited licenses!”

    I had quit nicotine for five years but that night I walked over to the Captain’s secret stash lit up a smoke and watched the lightning dance upon the waves until the sun rose and the pack was empty.

    The next day, many people told me I would be fired but an odd thing happened. At the end of the hitch, we were all invited to a grand hotel in Mumbai and sat down together to discuss the “incident”. The workboat captain, my captain, the drilling manager, a weather expert and a host of others. Even Mr. Ambani made a brief appearance.

    I don’t know what specific problems the meeting solved but I do know that until that point everything was going wrong for us. After that meeting, we started finding so much oil aboard that old ship that Mr. Ambani himself became the richest man in all of India.

    The situation hadn’t changed much, only our understanding of each other.

    Today, it’s been 10 years since I’ve smoked but I feel like lighting up again because I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to prevent the next naval collision at sea. I only know that something is very wrong and Kellogs has no U.S. Navy command pins hidden in boxes of cereal.

    When Naval Leadership continues to fail miserably, when most comments I received from professional mariners are oversimplified tripe (e.g. “they need to just look out the window” or “Read the COLREGS!!”) and my favorite source of naval insight and military reason suggests the solution lies in cheese (cheese theory that’s old, outdated and has been proven rotten!)… what more is there to say.

    But my job with gCaptain is to say something. My job is to suggest a solution or, at least, a solid first step… so… here goes: when was the last time you’ve seen a Naval Officer at a Nautical Institute meeting? How about we start there? Maybe if a few Naval Admirals start attending Nautical Institute meetings they will realize how outdated and ridiculous their memos sound to us ship masters.

    http://gcaptain.com/us-navy-memo-back-basics-outdated-ridiculous/
     
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  19. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  20. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Ships: A Risky Business

    November 8, 2017 by Editorial

    By Captain George Livingstone – One of the worst storms I ever recall was a winter day off the coast of Oregon. We were transiting northbound with a loaded Salt barge when a deep winter low crossed our slow moving tug and tow. The conditions built to storm force (60-65 knot wind, 24-27 foot sea/swells) and then stabilized in a following wind and sea. This was winter towing in the Pacific Northwest and to be expected. As the noon watch change was taking place, however, the situation rapidly deteriorated and the wind increased to well over 100 knots in just a matter of minutes.

    Managing Risk
    The first sign of a serious problem was when the tow winch alarm started sounding off like a machine gun. The Chief Engineer was out the wheelhouse to the stern before anyone else reacted, he managed to engage a mechanical winch dog before the last layer of wire unraveled from the towing winch drum.

    If we had lost the last layer, we would have lost the tow and the tug would have just been a small power vessel running before a hurricane with little hope of avoiding disaster.

    After the Chief Engineer had engaged the dog, I pulled the throttle back to dead slow ahead and wondered if the tug would stay ahead of a careening barge sliding sideways down monster swells and 100 knot winds. The best guess for sea state was about 50 feet, the barge was beam to the sea/swell the entire time getting pounded. It turns out we did stay ahead, and except for a partial loss of cargo, some white knuckles and broken running lights, all ended well.

    So what brings me to this? Well, I suppose it’s to point out that professional mariners aren’t just paid for balmy summer days sailing through waters populated by tourist boats and sunbathers. We are also there for the margins, for the shadow times. We earn our pay by ensuring all goes uneventfully and voyages are completed safely under all conditions. When viewed from outside the business these things cannot be readily seen, and it is the unseen qualities like leadership, experience, determination, cognitive thought, etc. that make the difference when managing risk in marine transportation.

    Marine Competencies
    There has been much discussion of late about competency at sea, especially on the United States Navy. Professionals are faced with a tricky wicket here as the task is multifold – protect the Public Trust but keep commerce moving and in the U.S. Navy’s case, defend the nation. Not surprisingly there is serious debate on how best to do this in the face of ever increasing liability and public scrutiny.

    There is some discussion that suggests overall risk can be managed, almost entirely, by changing the philosophy of how work is accomplished. ‘Management’ is the key word in this argument for reducing risk in marine transportation. The focus moves away from professional skill and toward overall managing risk through strict control. The basic concept is to simplify actual maneuvers and keep from doing work that has higher risk, thus reducing risk.

    Following along this line, individual evolutions are canceled if elevated risk (wind, fog, etc.) is determined to exist. Upon initial reflection this seems to have merit, if the situation is more closely controlled through management, it would seem to follow there would be a reduction in risk. This has appeal and there is no shortage of proponents for it.

    Inherent Risk
    Inherent risk is an underlying factor of marine transportation and cannot be removed.

    I would bring the reader back, however, to the first paragraph of this column. The problem with this theory is that risk is implicit in marine transportation. Risk begins when the voyage begins. Inherent risk is an underlying factor of marine transportation and cannot be removed. Of course, the debate revolves around the reduction of risk, not its removal, but critical to this discussion is understanding that risk is ever-present. And that is the crux of my opposition to the idea – failures, fog, wind, current and changing conditions will all be encountered throughout a career. Operating at night, in wind and current is normal, should that be eliminated to reduce risk? Hopefully the reader gets the point which is, even if operations were restricted to daylight under the most conservative parameters, there will still be unexpected events, weather, failures, etc. Critical situations will develop no matter what is done to manage the movement of ships.

    The professional mariner’s job is to safely extract the ship from any number of situations, critical or otherwise. That takes serious training and skill which must be honed over the course of a career, continually improving for the sake of the Public Trust. If a professional mariner regularly avoids situations requiring specific skill sets, how do they develop and maintain those skill sets? The old saying ‘Use it or lose it’ comes to mind. If the goal to reduce risk is accomplished by doing less and less, will there be accompanying degradation of professional skill? (Like the degradation of skill when using increasingly automated technology). There are sectors of marine transportation (including the Navy) attempting to reduce risk by focusing on the wrong things. The outcome is apparent, risk is not being mitigated.

    Practice Makes Perfect
    Given the inevitable and certain need for skill to keep and extract vessels from any situation, critical or otherwise, the probability of not being able to do so will increase without a library of skill sets. It’s a bit of a Catch-22; the mariner has little hope of safely extracting a vessel from extreme situations if he or she has not regularly practiced the advanced skill with which to do it. Without those skills, risk is increased not decreased. If the focus is only on managing the situation, risk will increase. Mastering the fundamentals developed through competent training and practiced in the real world on a regular basis is, however, a proven and effective way to reduce risk, especially when coupled with leadership and determination.

    http://gcaptain.com/ships-risky-business/
     
  21. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    The Navy’s Crash Course on Accountability -James Stavridis

    November 9, 2017 by Bloomberg

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    The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017. U.S. Navy Photo

    By James Stavridis (Bloomberg View) — In 1952, on a stormy night in the North Atlantic, the aircraft carrier USS Wasp cut the highly decorated World War II destroyer USS Hobson in two, with the loss of 176 sailors. Afterward, the accountability was swift and sure — such is the tradition of the Navy. The Wall Street Journal responded with an editorial that is still routinely quoted in the service: “Now comes the cruel business of accountability. It was no wish to destruction that killed this ship and its 176 men; the accountability lies with good men who erred in judgment under stress so great that it is almost its own excuse.”

    Today’s Navy is facing some hard business of accountability itself, following the shocking loss of two guided missile destroyers and the deaths of 17 sailors — part of a string of seamanship failures in the legendary 7th Fleet. In particular, the twin collisions of USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain sent shock waves through the entire Navy, prompting the abrupt retirement of the four-star admiral who commanded the entire Pacific Fleet, as well as the firings of the three-star commander of the 7th Fleet, the two-star admiral commanding the Japanese-based strike group, and the commanding officers, executive officers (second in command) and senior enlisted sailors aboard both destroyers. This is breathtaking accountability, from top to bottom.

    Even more striking was the release this month of a searing and recommendation-laced report prepared by the Navy’s senior surface-warfare admiral, Phil Davidson. While there are additional reports that will follow (including one prepared at the behest of the service’s civilian leader, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer), it is Davidson’s report that will drive the corrective action.

    The Navy’s failures in the forward-deployed ships are centered in a culture of “shut up and do the job” in the surface fleet. Growing up as a junior officer in that world, I saw again and again the refusal to balance sufficient rest with on-deck watch standing in order to accomplish the mission: admirable in concept, foolish in execution.

    I failed personally in command of my first ship — the USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer like the Fitzgerald and McCain — to find the right balance between operational demands, training and rest levels of my crew. We were lucky on several occasions to avoid a grounding or collision. That such situations are still so prevalent is, of course, is a leadership failure at heart, and will take the longest to correct.

    Unfortunately, these challenges emerge against the backdrop of a long, embarrassing investigation into more than 60 current and retired admirals surrounding allegations of corruption, likewise in the 7th Fleet. The so-called “Fat Leonard” scandal — named after Leonard Glenn Francis, the convicted Malaysian defense contractor at its center — is part of the leadership clean-up ahead at the senior levels of the Navy.

    The report also highlights and mandates corrections in equipment and maintenance, training and qualification pipelines, and organizational oversight. While complex, these steps can largely be accomplished swiftly if they get the senior-level attention and resources they need. For decades, unfortunately, the surface forces have been the “poor cousin” of better-resourced nuclear powered fleet (submarines and nuclear aircraft carriers) and the aviation arm of the Navy.

    Also critical is the longstanding insufficiency of the Navy’s size. The fleet count hovers around 275, far lower than at any point since early in the 20th century. While all of the ships today are certainly of high quality, the old saying “quantity has a quality of its own” has great merit, and the vast majority of analysts believe the fleet needs to grow to around 350 front-line warships. This will allow lower operational tempo, better rest cycles, and more training and ship-handling opportunities for officers coming up through the ranks.

    Three clear lessons — applicable not just to the U.S. Navy but to any large, complex organization undertaking demanding work around the world — emerge.

    Basic blocking and tackling are the heart of real-world operations. Even in this increasingly high-tech, artificial-intelligence and cyber driven world, humans will continue to make difficult operational decisions. There is no easy way to substitute for basic experience — it takes five years of ship handling to have five years of ship handling experience. We can use simulators more creatively and aggressively, but the heart of such skills comes the good old-fashioned way: spending time performing hard tasks under demanding instructors who challenge the apprentice again and again until he or she masters the art.

    Institutional reputation can evaporate in an instant, but rebuilding it takes time. The damage to the Navy’s national and international reputation caused by this string of mishaps is profound — but hardly irretrievable. Over the past few months, I have been challenged in dozens of public forums to explain the Navy’s failure streak, and I tend to revert to what I was taught 40 years ago as a plebe at Annapolis: to say simply, “no excuse, sir,” and describe how the Navy has taken all the right steps and will emerge stronger over time. Rebuilding the sea wall of our reputation can only be done brick by brick, but that wall will stand again.

    Harsh accountability is painful but critical when facing serious damage. The chief of naval operations, Admiral John Richardson, has been forced to fire good officers and enlisted sailors. He feels that loss personally and profoundly; but he has shown the courage and leadership to do what must be done. Too many American institutions again and again refuse to seize the “hard right course of action,” and default to an easier path. This may be the most important lesson of all in the wake of these failures.

    In closing their editorial six decades ago, the Journal editors said:

    We are told men should no longer be held accountable for what they do as well as for what they intend. To err is not only human, it absolves responsibility. Everywhere else, that is, except on the sea. On the sea there is a tradition older even than the traditions of the country itself and wiser in its age than this new custom. It is the tradition that with responsibility goes authority and with them both goes accountability.

    The Navy will emerge stronger from this ordeal, and better at the basics of operating our ships. Its ruthless sense of operational accountability lies at the heart of recovery — and here lies a profound lesson for any organization.

    James Stavridis, a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former military commander of NATO, is dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. His most recent book is “Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans.
    This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    © 2017 Bloomberg L.P


    http://gcaptain.com/the-navys-crash-course-on-accountability-james-stavridis/
     
  22. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    McCain: Military personnel's 100-hour work weeks must stop
    By: Karen Jowers   1 day ago


    McCain described it as a “military readiness crisis” that has affected every branch of service, with ship collisions, air crashes, vehicle accidents and personnel shortages in critical roles like aviation and cybersecurity.

    “The department is struggling to make do with budgets that are too small, unpredictable and driven by politics rather than strategy,” he said.

    Unfortunately, he said, personnel and readiness are hardest hit by these budget issues.

    McCain said when he recently visited with the families of sailors on the destroyer John S. McCain, 10 of whom were killed in the aftermath of a collision with a merchant vessel, they told him “they believe their young people were not provided with what they needed to effectively operate in defense of this country.”

    An example of that, he said, is the 100-hour work week.

    “Something’s got to change,” he said. I don’t like looking at those mothers whose children’s deaths could have been prevented. This is a serious issue. It’s pretty obvious according to the chief of naval operations, that this could have been prevented. And Congress is also complicit in this almost criminal behavior.“

    McCain pointed to the shortage of pilots, noting that it will be a crisis. “I want a new look at this whole issue,” he said. “If I had a priority for you, I would address that first.”

    He urged the nominees ― Anthony Kurta, nominated to be principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and James E. McPherson, to be Army general counsel ― to visit pilots and ask why they joined the military.

    A related issue is the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act, or DOPMA ― a personnel system which McCain described as overly rigid, and one that requires pilots and others to assume numerous staff assignments and move every few years in order to be promoted. The senator said it’s time to modernize the policy to improve efficiency and attract more qualified recruits.

    DOPMA “served the military well for many years,” Kurta said in response to a question from Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. “For a large majority of the force, it works.”

    But as the nature of warfare has changed, DOPMA is constraining, he said. He noted DoD needs flexibility to bring in talent needed in certain fields.

    Tillis urged Kurta “to get on a fast track” to provide lawmakers a “punch list” of ideas for modernizing the system.

    McCain noted that Kurta has held senior positions in personnel and readiness over the last three years, during a time when readiness has declined to “a nearly unprecedented level.” He highlighted numerous cases of senior officer misconduct, a crisis in pilot and aircraft maintenance personnel retention, and DoD’s roadblocks to the Armed Services Committee’s attempts to streamline the military health care system.

    Kurta said he didn’t disagree with the premise, but took issue with the statement about military health care system reform. In the past eight months he’s been the acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, DoD has sent two reports on how DoD intends to enact military health systems reform, he said.

    https://www.navytimes.com/news/pent...ary-personnels-100-hour-work-weeks-must-stop/
     
  23. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    http://www.skynews.com.au/news/worl...19/us-destroyer-and-japanese-tug-collide.html

    US destroyer and Japanese tug collide

    Published: 3:10 pm, Sunday, 19 November 2017


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    A US guided-missile destroyer, USS Benfold, has sustained slight damage when a Japanese tug drifted into it during a towing exercise off central Japan.

    'No one was injured on either vessel and Benfold sustained minimal damage, including scrapes on its side, pending a full damage assessment,' a statement from the US Seventh Fleet said on Saturday.

    'Benfold remains at sea under her own power. The Japanese commercial tug is being towed by another vessel to a port in Yokosuka. The incident will be investigated,' it said.

    The incident was the latest mishap involving a US warship in Asia.

    The US Navy announced a series of reforms this month aimed at restoring basic naval skills and alertness at sea after a review of deadly ship collisions in the Asia-Pacific region showed sailors were under-trained and over-worked.

    Seventeen sailors have been killed this year in two collisions with commercial vessels involving guided-missile destroyers, the Fitzgerald in June off Japan and the John S. McCain in August as it approached Singapore.
     

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