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Everything posted by TJSoCal

  1. From the sound of it, Porter's CO would have been a lot better off if he'd been napping in his cabin. I've known COs like that... Impossible to say at this point if Fitzgerald CO's presence on the bridge would have made a difference either way. In my experience sometimes CO's input is valuable, but sometimes (even with a good CO) his presence on the bridge can be a distraction to the watch team.
  2. Well, bear in mind that the CNN article is an opinion piece written by a retired RADM, so when he said the report would be released with a press conference he was only expressing his assumption. I'm not sure what the story is with the Porter investigation. I don't know if it's routine to release these investigations to the general public, nor to I know if it's really necessary. If appropriate disciplinary actions are taken by the Navy (I'm confident they will be) and any lessons learned are promulgated to the fleet, how much value is there in satisfying the morbid curiosity of the public
  3. Yeah, that's the article I saw. But an overhaul period that included an alteration like that would typically be at least 9 months, probably more than a year. So there might be a system or two at sea, but I don't think Fitzgerald would have been one.
  4. That's interesting, and would probably also be hella quiet for antisubmarine warfare ops (although I'm sure they still have to run generators but not the main engines), The article I found was from 2015 and said that installations would start late in 2016, so I'm guessing none of them are at sea yet. Plus ships homeported overseas are usually the last to get new stuff like that.
  5. From the track, it looks like he decided to take a penalty turn instead... ;-)
  6. It's possible that Fitzgerald and Crystal were on parallel or near-parallel courses (NE) with Fitzgerald to port of Crystal, and a course change by one or the other or both (which might not show up on the track of Crystal at the scale shown) brought them into contact. As I recall (one of the Burke class vets might correct me) the Navy's normal speed on a transit is around 15kt as that's most economical. If they weren't transiting somewhere specific but just hanging out doing racetracks, probably slower.
  7. It does seem likely that the OOD made an error. What the error was and how and why he made it is not known. It also seems likely that the CO will be relieved, even if he did everything any prudent captain would normally do--because he's in command and that's how the Navy does it (and should do it).
  8. Leaving aside for the moment the fact that we don't know who was stand-on and who was give-way -- what do the COLREGS say about a stand-on vessel steering a straight course when risk of collision exists and it becomes apparent that the give-way vessel is not taking sufficient action to avoid collision?
  9. Mmm, I still don't think anyone who wasn't onboard one of the vessels in question (or, by now, has interviewed them for the Navy investigation) can say anything "with confidence" other than that the ships collided. I respect Sr Chief's experience and qualifications, but he still has no more direct knowledge of what happened on Fitzgerald than I do. I'm opposed to conjecture and surmise, especially when it takes the form of "based on my guesses and sketchy, possibly fake news reports by people who have no idea what they're talking about, this is definitely the only possible way things could hav
  10. You need to send this off to the Navy, you could save them a lot of time and taxpayer dollars if they can forgo their investigation and just proceed to the punishment phase. Didn't anyone ever tell you that you should never, ever speak in absolutes?
  11. No matter what the technology, there's still going to be potential for human confusion and errors in judgment. And as long as you have that, ships will continue to periodically collide, run aground, etc.. And folks who weren't there will continue not to understand how such a thing could have happened when avoiding it "would be so easy." I don't know if the Navy will release the findings of the investigation publicly (no real reason why they should) but I'm guessing they'll find a number of routine, in retrospect obviously avoidable fuck-ups. Probably the folks who were there (COs and watc
  12. Typically no pelorus or compass, but lookouts will report relative bearing and target angle (basically the relative bearing from the other guy to you) so a contact can be identified visually by the bridge watch and correlated with a radar track. Assessing bearing drift, CPA and risk of collision is the watch officers' job, and I imagine it's much simplified by automation these days. Back in my day it was grease pencil on a scopehead and paper & pencil maneuvering board plots. And we (mostly) managed not to hit anybody. Mostly...
  13. True, and USS Frank E. Evans should have been able to dodge out of the way of HMAS Melbourne back in the day too. Plus ca change... And yeah, I also did a turn as DCA and definite BZ due to the damage control teams (which, on a Navy ship in an incident like this, is pretty much everybody on the crew). Sounds like staying afloat was not necessarily a given, they did a great job.
  14. I can add this, based on my experience (take it for what you pay for it...): A ship like the Fitzgerald would probably have three lookouts posted (port, starboard and aft) stationed high up on the superstructure with 7x50 binoculars. They'd be junior folks, but would not be assigned the watch alone until they'd completed the appropriate formal qualification for a lookout which includes how to scan, how to interpret running lights, what to report and how to report it. Probably part of a bridge watch team on for four hours, but the lookouts would be rotated into other positions roughly eve
  15. I'm retired Navy surface warfare, was a qualified Officer of the Deck (Underway) and CIC Watch Officer on three different ships, have stood many a night watch in crowded shipping lanes (this in the days before AIS even existed), and the one thing I know for sure is that nobody here (myself included) knows what happened on either ship or why they collided. The Navy will investigate and I'm confident they'll do their best to piece together what happened and determine responsibility. In my experience these things typically aren't witch hunts or coverups but honest attempts to determine what
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