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Old 20 Aug 17, 20:40
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Navy destroyer John S. McCain collides with merchant vessel

Time for a safety stand down??????

The destroyer John S. McCain collided with a merchant vessel early Monday morning in the South China Sea, 7th Fleet officials said.

Details remain sparse, but Navy officials said in a statement that “search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities.”


The collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC happened while the U.S. ship was underway east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca at 6:24 a.m. local time, according to Navy officials.

http://www.navytimes.com/news/your-n...rchant-vessel/
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  #2  
Old 20 Aug 17, 20:54
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Would that be a "safety" stand down or a "competency" one? You would think that everyone would be really on their toes with the news of the Fitzgerald relievings less than a week old.
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Old 20 Aug 17, 21:04
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Maybe it was senility like the ship's namesake...?
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Old 20 Aug 17, 21:24
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Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Maybe it was senility like the ship's namesake...?
You and Bassman have been discussing this for a while now. I'm really thinking a Navy wide safety stand down is in order.

My daughter's ship left Pascagoula last September for it's Commissioning in Philadelphia on 8 October 2016. It did some port visits, commissioned, through the ditch and them berthed in San Diego. It has had some underway periods and finally did the demag about two weeks ago.

Somehow 6 Ensigns have earned SWO, to include my daughter at the 11 month mark. They are also wearing the SSDR, I jumped on her during Christmas leave and she said the Captain authorized the crew to wear it. Looking at the crew pictures.....yes, all of the boots have the SSDR.

I was on a gator square cutting 8 month deployment on the LaMoure County. For S&G I went through the qual procedures for ESWS. 8 months was not enough time for anyone to get ESWS on a LST.....not sure how they can do it on an LPD that hasn't deployed yet.

Specific to this collision, the Strait of Malacca are a mother to navigate. A lot of things going on and not much room to navigate. I was the back up navigator on the Ogen when we were pulling into Singapore.
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Old 20 Aug 17, 22:25
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Originally Posted by Nichols View Post
You and Bassman have been discussing this for a while now. I'm really thinking a Navy wide safety stand down is in order.

My daughter's ship left Pascagoula last September for it's Commissioning in Philadelphia on 8 October 2016. It did some port visits, commissioned, through the ditch and them berthed in San Diego. It has had some underway periods and finally did the demag about two weeks ago.

Somehow 6 Ensigns have earned SWO, to include my daughter at the 11 month mark. They are also wearing the SSDR, I jumped on her during Christmas leave and she said the Captain authorized the crew to wear it. Looking at the crew pictures.....yes, all of the boots have the SSDR.

I was on a gator square cutting 8 month deployment on the LaMoure County. For S&G I went through the qual procedures for ESWS. 8 months was not enough time for anyone to get ESWS on a LST.....not sure how they can do it on an LPD that hasn't deployed yet.

Specific to this collision, the Strait of Malacca are a mother to navigate. A lot of things going on and not much room to navigate. I was the back up navigator on the Ogen when we were pulling into Singapore.
That's because "ticket punching" and pencil whipping the paperwork is more important than actual qualification or skill. A command is put in one of 4 states of readiness from 1 to 4. 1 is very hard to achieve as it means the entire command is totally qualified. With transfers, new people coming in, qualified people going out, school slots limited, etc., it's hard to get there.
2 is doable as it means you are mostly qualified, and sufficiently so to be ready to do whatever the mission is. It means you have somewhere above 80% quals done.
Many units pencil whip a lot of the mundane stuff.
As for technical training... Usually you are required to do X hours per Y days. But, this is usually the LPO or a senior 2nd coking and joking for the most part with the shop for an hour that is then signed off as "training."
So, unless the shop you're in has an LPO or Chief that really knows his or her $h!+ (and with Chiefs making it at the 8 to 10 year mark, sometimes even sooner now) with hyped up evals and a coached board package, you often have senior leadership that's really clueless about their job for the most part.

3 is a situation where the ship or unit is in work up or just organized. So long as it's moving to a 2, no problem. It hangs at three people start to notice.

4 is the unit is fouled up like a soup sandwich. It stays that way for any time somebody shows up and the command is relieved for cause and replaced. I saw this twice. In one case, the L. Cdr was a giant @$$ and alienated the whole division. They were looking for way for payback. That was on him.
The second was a Commander who was a paperworking fool of the highest order. He wanted everything done right by the book. As I said about him once... If the building were burning down and you ran into his office to tell him, he'd die in the fire. But, if you sent him a properly routed memo about it, he'd have everything documented about that fire you ever wanted to know. Everybody else might die in it, but could document why it happened perfectly.
I got memos, attached to memos, about a memo, with a memo about the attached memos, with another attached unit routing slip with a memo on it from this guy. He expected the Chiefs and officers to have this like 3" thick notebook with them with all this crap paperwork stuffed in it.
An Admiral showed up from the regional command and sacked him...

I did ESW on the Enterprise at a time when 2nd Class, like me, were told "You don't need that yet..." and it took me a year to fight for the signatures but I did it, mostly to spite the people telling I couldn't.
Of course, having the background I did in military history helped immensely. A good friend's younger brother went into EOD... He said all the stuff he learned from me and his older brother (my friend) helped immensely in his qualifying.

But, most people in the Navy don't get a deep background in anything. They get what's needed to do the job at hand and the command leaves it at that. That's a problem.

As for the Straight of Molucca, I was on watch at like 2 am as load dispatcher on the 'prise in 83. We dropped the aft group of plants with 22 planes up. The brass topside were hair on fire. They didn't want to divert the planes but couldn't land them as the arrestor gear was down due to lack of power.

Luckily the EOOW was a good one and all he told me to do was "Put it back like it was. Keep me informed."

In under 30 minutes we had the 4 emergency diesels manned, and had restored all electrical power on the four remaining SSTG's. That got all 22 planes aboard safely. Got an attaboy for that... not that it was worth anything...

Engineering was told the Saratoga had something like that happen a few months before. They diverted their planes because they couldn't get things back quickly. Nukes versus conventionals...

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 20 Aug 17 at 22:31..
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Old 20 Aug 17, 22:36
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Maybe the Chinese are experimenting with a new form of Electronic Warfare.

Hey, if Iran could hijack one of our Drones...
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Old 20 Aug 17, 23:00
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Another Seventh Fleet unit? Maybe this investigation will look higher up the chain of command than Captain of the ship.

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Old 20 Aug 17, 23:22
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I'd like to see the next Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting. The hazing would be hilarious...
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Old 21 Aug 17, 01:54
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I don't understand why radar and standard operating procedures failed in this case.

In the days before radar I could understand a collision in the dark, but not in 2017.
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Old 21 Aug 17, 03:36
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In this case, it looks like the McCain was likely crossing in front of the other vessel when hit. The damage is on the port side aft about 2/3rds of the way down the hull. It also looks like the McCain was oblique and headed away from the merchant ship when hit.
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Old 21 Aug 17, 07:07
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..from my readings of the many Solomon Islands battles, you can still see blacked out ships in somewhat poor weather, sometimes....??
..also, weren't there extremely close calls at the November Battle of Guadalcanal? many ships, at close quarters at night, steaming toward each other? .....but how many collisions were there? not many...? why?
one of the officers said it was like a ''brawl in a barroom with no lights'' ?
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By the time fighting commenced at 0148, the range between the leading elements of each force had closed to a ludicrous 1000 yards.
Quote:
Laffey passed so close to Hiei that they missed colliding by 20 ft (6 m
...now we have modern radar/etc
...ships that are lighted
...area not nearly as congested ..refer to map
...no war--no chaos
but they still collide
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Old 21 Aug 17, 07:13
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Originally Posted by Escape2Victory View Post
I don't understand why radar and standard operating procedures failed in this case.

In the days before radar I could understand a collision in the dark, but not in 2017.
I guess we'll find out when the investigation is completed.
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Old 21 Aug 17, 07:53
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Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Maybe it was senility like the ship's namesake...?
You're confused on who the ship is named after.....
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Old 21 Aug 17, 08:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nichols View Post
You and Bassman have been discussing this for a while now. I'm really thinking a Navy wide safety stand down is in order.

My daughter's ship left Pascagoula last September for it's Commissioning in Philadelphia on 8 October 2016. It did some port visits, commissioned, through the ditch and them berthed in San Diego. It has had some underway periods and finally did the demag about two weeks ago.

Somehow 6 Ensigns have earned SWO, to include my daughter at the 11 month mark. They are also wearing the SSDR, I jumped on her during Christmas leave and she said the Captain authorized the crew to wear it. Looking at the crew pictures.....yes, all of the boots have the SSDR.

I was on a gator square cutting 8 month deployment on the LaMoure County. For S&G I went through the qual procedures for ESWS. 8 months was not enough time for anyone to get ESWS on a LST.....not sure how they can do it on an LPD that hasn't deployed yet.

Specific to this collision, the Strait of Malacca are a mother to navigate. A lot of things going on and not much room to navigate. I was the back up navigator on the Ogen when we were pulling into Singapore.
Nick, I have said before and I will say it again, the Navy needs to:

1 - train again, instead of relying on CBT
2 - focus on professionalism
3 - stop using community relations a factor for promotions
4 - get rid beauty contests like the Sailor of the Quarter/Year
5 - bring back time in rate and time in service requirements for promotions
6 - physical fitness should not be factored into promotions
7 - nor should collateral duties
8 - warfare qualifications should be voluntary (ever since they became mandatory the whole process became a joke!)
9 - warfare qualifications should only be earned when assigned to a combatant vessel
10 - enough with taking the booters word for everything! Bring back good order and discipline. Grievances should only be for bona fide incident like sexual assault, not for "my pu$$y hurts because the Chief talked mean to me when I refused to clean the toilets; I'm filing a grievance!"

In short, a safety stand-down will not help. What will help is a return to the culture that made the U.S. Navy a supremely competent and proficient war-fighting organization to begin with.
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Old 21 Aug 17, 09:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass_Man86 View Post
Nick, I have said before and I will say it again, the Navy needs to:

1 - train again, instead of relying on CBT
2 - focus on professionalism
3 - stop using community relations a factor for promotions
4 - get rid beauty contests like the Sailor of the Quarter/Year
5 - bring back time in rate and time in service requirements for promotions
6 - physical fitness should be factored into promotions
7 - nor should collateral duties
8 - warfare qualifications should be voluntary (ever since they became mandatory the whole process became a joke!)
9 - warfare qualifications should only be earned when assigned to a combatant vessel
10 - enough with taking the booters word for everything! Bring back good order and discipline. Grievances should only be for bona fide incident like sexual assault, not for "my pu$$y hurts because the Chief talked mean to me when I refused to clean the toilets; I'm filing a grievance!"

In short, a safety stand-down will not help. What will help is a return to the culture that made the U.S. Navy a supremely competent and proficient war-fighting organization to begin with.
Chief, all 10 points are valid, I still think the only way to begin to address the issue is with a Navy wide Safety Stand down.

Keep in mind, to a man with a hammer, every problem is a nail:

My hammer is the open water navigation course that I attended in Coronado....

If the safety stand down shows that 75% of school trained navigators can't plot bearings on various scales of charts and can't convert a heading to magnetic......this would cause a Navy wide change in training. The major lesson learned for me with open water navigation and 18 Zodiac rubber boats in line 20 nautical miles from land was that when depending on electronic navigation aids, you had less S/A on what was going on around you because you really didn't need to monitor the course. On the other hand when I was running the plotting board, every shift of course, stop for a down boat......everything was monitored and re-plotted.

So much for Magellan seastories......

Right now old salts like you, TAG, and numerous others intuitively know what the problem is.....without documented results from a safety stand down or some other documented event for the CNO to look at, read, and answer too......I don't see the possibility of institutional change coming down the chain.
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