Navy Releases Fitzgerald/McCain Report

Released today, the report is rather scathing, but sanitized of details such as names.

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15 Responses to Navy Releases Fitzgerald/McCain Report

  1. BrentB67BrentB67 says:

    Thank you very much for sharing the link.

    I read the majority of the Fitzgerald portion.

    1. Surprised how well written and easy to read. It is not filled with jargon and what jargon is used is explained and there are good pictures and diagrams.

    2. I didn’t find it all that scathing, mostly very disappointing. It seems to be summed up in the OOD and JOOD weren’t paying close attention and/or got confused and drove in front of another ship.

    A sad commentary on our contemporary Navy.

  2. Xennady says:

    “Surprised how well written and easy to read.”

    Yes. If only the Navy was as good at navy stuff as it is at turning out readable reports.

    Anyway, I skimmed over all of it. What jumped out at me, above and beyond the astonishing incompetence by the crew of the Fitzgerald, was that the McCain got hit because that crew temporarily lost the ability to steer the ship.

    Not because of mechanical failure, but because they briefly couldn’t figure out how to work the controls. This happened, if my quick read was correct, because the people attempting to do so came from a different ship with different gear that didn’t work the same.

    Wow, just wow. The first ship in that class is named after Arleigh Burke, an officer who achieved notoriety because of his success in the Solomons.

    A big reason why he was successful- I’m relying on decades-old memory, so I regret any errors- is because he trained the ships under his command- entire ships, not just individuals in one crew- to work and coordinate together. Previously, the navy had thrown ships together haphazardly, out of necessity perhaps, but with ugly results. Tanaka Raizo, ugh.

    At the end of the war, the USN had a world-beating naval culture that persisted for decades. I think I was a part of that, at least briefly. I recall seeing Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club patches on plenty of jackets, for example.

    That culture- and the ensuing competence- appears to be defunct, alas. When it is acceptable to swap in people from another ship- or send naval officers as individuals to serve in land-locked Afghanistan- something has gone ghastly wrong. Burke trained his ships to work as a team, because he needed to, because otherwise the IJN sent them to the bottom. Today, the nav doesn’t even seem to grasp that sailors need to know how the ship they’re on actually works, so them can know which button to push to avoid getting rammed by a container ship.

    Pitiful.

    • ctlaw says:

      Xen, Not merely because they couldn’t figure out how to use the controls (multiple human failures), but that they lost situational awareness when focusing on the perceived problem of loss of steering control.

      If the ship was running out of control but people were situationally aware, they would have been blasting horns and doing other things to make sure other ships were aware of the situation.

      • Xennady says:

        “If the ship was running out of control but people were situationally aware, they would have been blasting horns and doing other things to make sure other ships were aware of the situation.”

        Yes, exactly. The incompetence exhibited was broad and deep. I literally cannot run out of bad things to condemn, even though I barely pay any attention to the Navy these days and certainly don’t go looking for bad news.

        There’s just so much idiocy that it manages to break out into the wider world, even though I can only assume that navy brass would prefer otherwise.

        I recall making the assertion here before that per the safety triangle there are far more lesser incidents that never make the news than there are deadly disasters. Perhaps that’s an “of course” but the point is that if you take near-misses and almost-disasters seriously and strive to prevent them you will very likely avoid getting hit by container ships and other catastrophes.

        It says in the report that one of the these ships- the Fitzgerald, if I recall- narrowly missed a collision months ago. Yet the command took no action.

        I’ll repeat- the ship almost collided with another vessel, per an official US Navy report, yet the command of the ship did nothing. Nor did the navy, it appears.

        Inexcusable. I have to wonder just what the blazes the people running the show spend their time worrying about, because it plainly isn’t what happens on- or to- the ships under their command.

        My ugly guess is that they’ve been much more worried about the latest diversity directive from the Pentagon and making sure everyone’s sexual harassment training card is up to date. Officers who couldn’t sleep at night because they were worried about the poor shiphandling skills of their diversity hires were shown the door while the power point rangers and SJWs were promoted. Hence, this awesome report about ships clumsily sailed into catastrophe.

        But that’s only a guess, because I’m not there.

        • DevereauxDevereaux says:

          Last three phases of all projects, etc.

          – Search for the guilty

          – Punishment of the innocent

          – Praise and honours for the uninvolved

  3. AdministratorAdministrator says:

    Sickening reading.

  4. ctlaw says:

    Both sections were sanitized of any identifying info for persons not already known who might be culpable.

    Thus, personal pronouns such as “his” were used only for the known COs, victims, rescuers, etc. but not the OOD, etc.

    One lapse was they had one reference to the McCain Helm as male.

    As mentioned in the conference call last night, two things jumped out re. Fitzgerald.

    First is the the repeated references to failures to notify the CO in violation of his standing orders coupled with an instance where they did notify him makes me think he never intended those standing orders to be obeyed.

    Second is the Fitzgerald OOD appears the worst performer of all people on both ships.

  5. TKC1101TKC1101 says:

    All organizations will get the performance they incentivize by word, power and culture.

  6. DevereauxDevereaux says:

    MLH, military air is among the most dangerous professions on the planet. Some of that is because the equipment is often old. Some of it is because the form of flying is usually greatly pushing the envelope.

    Whatever the cause, military air suffers much larger losses than civilian air. Brent can probably attest to the fact that death in the air community – in peaceful ops – is far too common.

    • MLHMLH says:

      Sheesh! Is she stupid, stubborn, or prideful?!

      I hated, absolutely hated, being OOD of a hospital and would ask for help, input, opinions, even direction, from the chief/PO1 and ANYONE else with more time in service.

    • DevereauxDevereaux says:

      This should not have been an untrained officer. She was, after all, a Lt j.g. That means not a butter bar. I would have expected her to know how. to maneuver the ship. Calling the captain might have been a good idea also. AND I’m not sure why the captain. was in bed in a harbor area.

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