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Old 16-01-2019, 12:34   #16
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

Quote: "..shucks, lots of them don't even speak English (a joke, guys)."

And taken as such, but "many a true word....". Slack-ass communication is regretable in all circumstances and quite reprehensible in some. The Fitzgerald report mentions "inappropriate language and joking" as one symptom of the slack-ass discipline in that ship. In the F313 collision, notwithstanding that she was running Nato's errands at the time, the language in use, both on the bridge and in communication with Fedje Control over the radio, was Norwegian. Sola TS was under a flag of convenience and would have been crewed by Philipinos and/or other people from lands far from Norway with precisely zero comprehension of Norwegian. Given that there are very few Scowegians who do not speak fluent English these days, it seems to me that common sense dictates that those of us who operate in languages other than English should, for the sake of EVERYONE's safety, switch to the lingua franca when surrounded by "foreign" vessels.

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Old 16-01-2019, 13:28   #17
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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........... shucks, lots of them don't even speak English (a joke, guys).

Jim
Yes they do..... but try understanding the english spoken between assorted ships and VTS in the Singapore Straits..... A bloke may as well be in Alabama...
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Old 16-01-2019, 13:29   #18
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

If you have read the Report the Navy wrote initially about the explosion in turret 2 of the USS Iowa in 1989 with the entire blame on one of the victims of the explosion, blaming him for suicidal and homosexual tendancies, then you get a good feeling for what the purpose of a "Navy Investigation" committee is. Better not read to much truth in it!
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Old 16-01-2019, 15:04   #19
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

Damning report here pretty much saying the us navy crew were inexperienced, poorly trained and in "control" of a steaming piece of you know what.

https://amp.news.com.au/technology/i...0517d9dd97ab9c
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Old 16-01-2019, 15:27   #20
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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Yeah and undermanned.

I think the upper brass bear some responsibility and not just the 7thFleet admiral that was replaced.

The skipper inherited the problem but he was the XO for sometime before taking over so he had history and knew what was going on.

Also he had the option of telling the brass the boat had serious maintenance issues and shouldn't go out but didn't exercise that option.

A Navy ship, undermanned? LOL. They literally have hundreds of guys on a ship. My ship has I think 21. Lets see... Capt, CM, 2M, 3M, CE, 1AE, 2AE, 3AE, Bosun (me), 2 Day Men, 3 AB Watch, 2 Oilers, Ch. Steward, Ch. Cook, SA. That's it. So 19. Okay they need guys for manning weapons systems. Still, Navy ships often have 8 or 9 guys just on the bridge!!!!! At sea, we have a grand total of 2 on a bridge watch. Docking etc three, and a local pilot. No, they were not undermanned. Underexperienced, undertrained in real seamanship, and maybe underpaid. Some guys probably feel trapped... they can't quit, even in a U.S. port. So there's that. Attitude. Ability. Preoccupation with doing things the Navy way instead of the practical way.
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Old 16-01-2019, 16:23   #21
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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Yikes, something is really wrong here
When the Rules of the Road exam is administered by the USCG for a Merchant Mariner Credential, the passing score is 90%, and it isn't a "pop quiz" -- it's a long exam on crossing/passing rules, day shapes, vessel light configurations, and sound signals.

Your average skipper with a six-pack license (OUPV) is held to a higher standard than any of the Fitzgerald's deck officers could satisfy.

Part of the problem is the Navy's rotation process: a licensed skipper/watchstander on a civilian vessel needs at least three years - and many have decades - of sea service experience. The Navy rotates people in with much less experience.

"If it's gray -- stay away."
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Old 16-01-2019, 20:12   #22
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

Heaven help us if the Russians or Chinese decide to attack our Navy. Are any of our armed forces better (I definitely hope so) with the largest budget in the history of mankind at their disposal? I'm guessing also that the Navy doesn't do much recruiting from seafaring regions of our country. The Fort report sounded like it was landlubbers in charge of a sea-going naval vessel -not much seamanship common sense seemed evident. Our Navy veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam must be really upset by the Fort report.
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Old 16-01-2019, 22:16   #23
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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.....
"If it's gray -- stay away."
That sounds like a wise extension of the law of superior tonnage.
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Old 17-01-2019, 05:04   #24
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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Heaven help us if the Russians or Chinese decide to attack our Navy. Are any of our armed forces better (I definitely hope so) with the largest budget in the history of mankind at their disposal? I'm guessing also that the Navy doesn't do much recruiting from seafaring regions of our country. The Fort report sounded like it was landlubbers in charge of a sea-going naval vessel -not much seamanship common sense seemed evident. Our Navy veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam must be really upset by the Fort report.

Part of the problem is that the Navy simply can't compete. You don't get your own stateroom like on a merchant ship. You don't get your own head, your own shower. You can't quit once you join. You can't go home for a couple or a few months whenever you feel like it. The pay is about a third for a comparable billet. The guys who join the Navy are idealists who might or might not be trainable to competency, young guys straight out of school who don't have a clue and need further parenting and hand holding, guys who figure the benefits are worth it, guys following a family tradition, and guys who simply can't make it in the big real world where you have to actually perform. Guys start sailing commercial ships because the money can be pretty decent, and accomodations, food, etc are also pretty decent.



Another thing about the Navy. As soon as you start to learn the basics of your job, you get "moved up " and another new guy takes your place. The guy actually steering a navy ship probably has only been doing it for a couple of years, at most. The average age of the AB steering a regular ship is probably about 45 and he has been going to sea his whole adult life. The average mate or capt is a bit younger, but there is no comparison in the level of training and experience. The Navy is not all about going to sea. It is a beaurocracy. Guys join the Navy and then jump through crazy hoops to get shore jobs. They are not seafarers. Their life is not the sea. And there is little that can be done about it. Recruiting is sadly probably best done in the heartland of America where farm boys watch Action in the North Atlantic or War at Sea and feel the call of the water. Mixed bag, there, but at least they don't know any better, and can be won over by wily recruiters who are good at the game.


Bottom line, stay well away from navy ships. There are lots of guys up on the bridge but nobody knows what they are doing.
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Old 17-01-2019, 11:36   #25
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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Heaven help us if the Russians or Chinese decide to attack our Navy. Are any of our armed forces better (I definitely hope so) with the largest budget in the history of mankind at their disposal? I'm guessing also that the Navy doesn't do much recruiting from seafaring regions of our country. The Fort report sounded like it was landlubbers in charge of a sea-going naval vessel -not much seamanship common sense seemed evident. Our Navy veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam must be really upset by the Fort report.
I imagine that, in a conflict, we'd lose many naval vessels from collisions, groundings, and generally bad seamanship. Considering how much our Navy costs, this is proof that you don't always get what you pay for.

GrowleyMonster sums up the situation well (above). There is a definite downside to an all-volunteer military. Recent Navy vets I know say "NAVY" stands for: Never Again Volunteer Yourself. Turnover from non-reenlistment is an issue. Many people enlist to get out of Podunk, and leave for civilian careers as soon as possible. I'm grateful for their service, but it often doesn't last long.

When applying for a Merchant Marine Credential, the CG asks if you are willing to serve in a national emergency. I said "yes." (My father served in the Merchant Marine during WWII - and they had a higher fatality rate in that conflict than any of the military branches.) Hopefully, if the "stuff hits the fan," there will be enough lead time to call up people with actual sea experience. But I doubt it. The conflict may be over before the letters arrive in the mail.
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Old 17-01-2019, 12:22   #26
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

Not to go too far afield of the topic but does anyone here think the civilian side is much better? Somewhat better I can say, but MUCH better? Not in my experience. I did 4 years in the USCG and couldn’t get out to work at an efficient private sector job were there wasn’t as much baloney. 40 some years latter, I was wrong, there is nearly as much, sometimes more, baloney in the private sector. (Talking land jobs, large corporations)
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Old 18-01-2019, 10:10   #27
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

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The Navy is not all about going to sea. It is a beaurocracy. Guys join the Navy and then jump through crazy hoops to get shore jobs. They are not seafarers. Their life is not the sea. And there is little that can be done about it.
I sail commercial, but like many maritime academy grads, spent time in the MMR and my experience there was completely reflected in the above statements. The USN, unfortunately, is not about seafaring or even warfighting.

Every experience was an exercise in navigating bureaucracy more than navigating a ship.

"If it's gray, stay away" is proven far too often. The Porter collision was really the first of these recent types and it's only by the grace of God that it didn't result in any deaths. The audio from that event should be embarrassing to any professional bridge watchstander.

https://soundcloud.com/naval-institu...-porter-ddg-78

As for the USCG, I've never had a problem encountering their vessels. Definitely much better watchstanding from what I can tell.
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Old 18-01-2019, 12:17   #28
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

Not a true story, but this is the US Navy's internationally reputed attitude toward "collision avoidance":
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Old 18-01-2019, 17:01   #29
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

Hope it hasn't gotten this bad.
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Old 25-01-2019, 08:55   #30
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Re: USNavy Report on Fitzgerald Collision.

I was in the Navy for 22 years and can tell you a huge part of this problem is rooted in the culture. Generally, sea going billets are avoided (I know, seems crazy) and used as a stepping stone check-in-the-box for career progression. At my 8 year mark, I was commissioned and went to flight training. Every single day I heard the threat of, "you screw this up, you're going to SWO (surface warfare officer) school". This was not just an idle threat. If you failed out of aviation (or a number of other fields), you were sent to SWO school and on to the fleet. Somehow an entire organization built on sea power has become an organization in which its people work to avoid sea service.
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