Home » Budget Industry » Admiral, Captain Removed in Ongoing Investigations into USS John S. McCain, USS Fitzgerald Collisions; Head of Surface Forces Puts in Early Retirement Request


Admiral, Captain Removed in Ongoing Investigations into USS John S. McCain, USS Fitzgerald Collisions; Head of Surface Forces Puts in Early Retirement Request

CTF 70 commander Rear Adm. Charles Williams, DESRON 15 commander Capt. Jeffrey Bennett. USNI News image

This post has been updated to include replacements for CTF-70 and DESRON 15.

The commander of the Navy’s largest operational battle force and his subordinate in charge of the attached destroyer squadron have been removed from their positions as a result of ongoing investigations into a string of incidents this year that resulted in the death of 17 sailors and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, USNI News has learned.

U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Philip Sawyer removed Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander of Combined Task Force 70, and Capt. Jeffery Bennett, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 15, from their positions on Monday (Tuesday local time) due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command, two Navy officials told USNI News and later confirmed by a statement from the service.

Williams also served as commander of Carrier Strike Group 5 with USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76). Bennett’s command included guided-missile destroyers USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) and USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62). Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship off Japan on June 17 and resulted in the death of seven sailors, while McCain collided with a chemical tanker near Singapore on Aug. 21, resulting in the death of 10 sailors.

“Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, commander of Task Force 76 (CTF 76), assumed duties as commander, CTF 70. Capt. Jonathan Duffy, deputy commander, DESRON 15, assumed duties as commander,” read a statement from the Navy following an earlier version of this post.

The officials told USNI News the removals of Williams and Bennett are part of ongoing accountability actions as part of the Navy investigations into four surface ship incidents – three collisions and a grounding – in the Western Pacific this year.

GAO Image

Not directly related to the accountability actions, the head of U.S. Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Tom Rowden put in a request last week to retire about two months early, several Navy officials confirmed USNI News.

Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, Commander of Naval Surface Forces. US Navy photo.

The sources told USNI News that Rowden told Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson he wanted to step aside to allow for new leadership to guide the surface forces. Rowden’s exit is not immediate and he will remain in the position until a suitable replacement is found.

A spokesman for Rowden acknowledged a request for comment from USNI News but did not issue a reply.

The removals and Rowden’s request for early retirement come only days before Richardson and Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer are set to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the string of incidents in the Western Pacific this year.

The appearance of Richardson and Spencer before the panel is expected to be more contentious than a hearing earlier this month, when Navy leadership testified before the House Armed Services readiness and seapower and projection forces subcommittees, Navy and legislative sources have told USNI News.

Appearing with Spencer and Richardson is Government Accountability Office director of defense readiness issues John Pendleton, who has guided several reports on the lack of certifications and overwork of the Navy’s forward-deployed forces that have been substantiated by the service.

As to the removals, Bennett and Williams are the fifth and sixth officials to be relieved from their positions in U.S. 7th Fleet following the two deadly collisions between U.S. warships and merchant ships.

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) departs Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka on Sept. 8, 2017. US Navy Photo

Former U.S. 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was removed weeks short of his planned retirement shortly after the McCain collision. The command triad of Fitzgerald  –commanding officer Cmdr. Bryce Benson, executive officer Cmdr. Sean Babbitt and command master chief CMC Brice Baldwin – were removed from their positions two months after that destroyer’s fatal collision.

Attached to the CSG, DESRON 15 was responsible for the not only the support of the forward-deployed strike group but also the ballistic missile defense patrols in the Sea of Japan that serve as a hedge against North Korea.

The loss of McCain and Fitzgerald leave the DESRON with only five destroyers. U.S. Pacific Fleet officials have repeatedly told USNI News the service will be able to provide ballistic missile defense protection for U.S. allies in the region despite the loss of Fitzgerald and McCain.

Williams, a career surface sailor, had assumed command of CTF-70 in July 2016. That task force serves as the centerpiece of the U.S. forward-deployed naval force and can provide short-notice presence with carrier Reagan and CSG-5.

Previous to commanding DESRON-15, Bennett commanded the guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG-106) and several mine countermeasures ships.

It’s unclear what further accountability actions are in the works as a result of not only the investigations into Fitzgerald and McCain but also into a probe led by U.S. Fleet Forces commander Adm. Phil Davidson and a separate look ordered by Spencer.

The following is the complete bios of 
Rear Adm. Charles Williams and Capt. Jeffrey Bennett obtained by USNI News.

Rear Adm. Charles Williams is a native of Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1985 with a degree in history and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Program. He holds Master’s degrees in systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School and in national security from the Naval Command and Staff College.

Williams’ previous sea duty assignments include tours aboard USS Deyo (DD-989), USS Elliot (DD-967) and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54). He commanded USS Firebolt (PC-10) and USS Stethem (DDG-63).

Williams served as the first deputy commodore in Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 in Yokosuka, Japan, and then as commodore and Strike Force Anti-Submarine Warfare commander for Commander Task Force 70, where he was the on-scene commander for the Navy’s response to the sinking of the Republic of Korea ship Cheonan. He then reported to Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet as the chief of staff, where he served from July 2010 to July 2012 — a timespan that included Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. response in support of Japan following the March 2011 Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

Ashore, he served in the Joint Staff, in the Command, Control, Communications and Computers (J-6) directorate, Current Operations Division. Williams also served as head of Surface Warfare Junior Officer Assignments in PERS-41 in Millington, Tenn.; and as deputy of Surface Warfare Combat Systems on the chief of naval operations’ staff. His most recent assignment was as commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific; commander, Task Force 73 (CTF-73); and Singapore area coordinator.

Williams’ decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal, among other individual and unit awards.

Capt. Jeffrey A. Bennett II is from Michigan. He is a 1992 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in naval architecture. He also earned a Master of Science in applied physics from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Master of Arts in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College.

His sea assignments include command of USS Stockdale (DDG-106) and MCM Crew CONSTANT, where he had command of USS Gladiator (MCM-11), USS Dextrous (MCM-13), and USS Avenger (MCM-1). Bennett also served in USS Antietam (CG-54) and USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58).

Ashore, Bennett served as Senate director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, military assistant at the Defense Business Board, and defense fellow for Sen. Jeff Sessions. He also served on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff, Surface Warfare Directorate (N86), and at Naval Personnel Command (PERS-41).

  • KenPrescott

    OK, fair enough.

    But what do we do next? How do we get our crews back to being able to safely navigate their ships?

    At this point, I can’t say I have confidence in the Navy’s ability to conduct combat operations successfully. We need to regain that confidence; I wish I could give a list of next steps…

    • John Locke

      The Navy has been conducting combat ops for quite some time.
      The collisions are a separate issue

      • Curtis Conway

        Competencies on the Bridge and in Combat (peacetime or warfare) overlap and are germane. Doing the job and ‘Maintaining the Bubble’ do not go away in the absence of combat, and we have 17 dead sailors that testify to that fact.

      • KenPrescott

        “The Navy has been conducting combat ops for quite some time.
        The collisions are a separate issue”

        Shooting Tomahawks at land targets isn’t combat.

        Shoot/no-shoot decisions in AAW, while also prosecuting a sub, while taking fire from surface combatants at close quarters, and not running into other ships, THAT is combat, and I am not sure the Navy can do that.

        • Duane

          Uhh, shooting Tomahawks at land targets certainly IS combat. It’s a very large part of naval warfare in the 21st century. It’s the reason for being for many of our ships, and accounts for a very large proportion of the reason for being for the Arleigh Burke DDGs.

          • KenPrescott

            They don’t do the targeting on the ship. That gets downloaded from SATCOM. They just pass it to the missile guidance packages, steam to the launch basket (hopefully without playing bumpercars with the merchies), and push some buttons.

            It barely requires any judgement on the part of the wardroom or the CIC watch team when you compare it to even a modestly complex War At Sea scenario in the South China Sea, where you have to engage inbound vampires AND put warheads on that Chicom DDG while NOT hitting the plethora of merchies wandering around AND prosecuting that SSK . . .

          • Duane

            Combat is combat. You’re bloviating.

          • KenPrescott

            Combat is “you’re shooting at someone who’s actually shooting back at you.” Anything else might as well be range practice.

          • Duane

            The goal isn’t to stage a sporting contest. The goal is to kill the bad guy and destroy his infrastructure.

          • KenPrescott

            The goal is to be ready to handle a complex tactical situation where the other guy is shooting back.

            The Navy almost certainly can’t handle that situation. I dread the prospect of an air/surface/submarine engagement with our CSGs, we will likely lose ships due to collisions AND enemy fire…

            But we will, by God, but current on our CBTs.

        • Retired Chief Petty Officer

          Shooting at land targets now is only different in range and aiming. We let that slip in the nineteen thirties also and got our As**es handed to us by ocular target acquisition defeating radar targeting in the Solomon’s campaigns. The stretch of water around Lunga point is aptly named Iron-Bottom Sound for all the US Cruisers that ended up on the bottom because no one bothered to ensure that command authorities knew the capabilities, failures and tactical uses of radar. The radar equipped destroyers and light cruisers were pushed to the back or not allowed to raise the alarm because the commanders always rode the larger heavy cruisers which did not have radar yet.. The Tomahawk merely extends the range of support from 20 miles to 1500 or so. In that horrible campaign the Navy kept transferring the commanding Admirals or Commodores who survived toe to toe combat to administrative duties to allow other senior officers to gain experience. That did not work. Experienced warriors can pass learning on if they retain their commands long enough to make revisions in tactical doctrine. When pulled early to teach, the new doctrine does not get written and the old doctrines are again relied upon. Look at how long it took and how many died or were injured before the Navy Department admitted there “might” be deficiencies in our torpedoes. You practice as you will fight, and you will fight as you practice. there is no magic wand that says “okay, now it is real, so do it right”.

    • Marc Apter

      “What do we do next?” Maybe go back and review old investigation reports of 1960’s and 1970’s Collisions and Groundings, and start from there looking for lessons.

      • Duane

        60s and 70s are barely, if at all, relevant to 2010s. Different ships, different Navy personnel, different conditions (maritime traffic today is four times what it was in the 70s), different technology, etc. etc.

        The Navy is looking hard at the last decade’s incidents and safety record, which is certainly relevant to what is happening now.

  • Eric Tyler Allen

    It’s still Monday in Japan.

  • Mike Mulligan

    Ultimately, this is about our society’s disconnection with the military. We as the little people just don’t got any skin in the game to keep this big system straight. We have become too fixated on so called military effectiveness and efficiency (weapons), against the larger national security needs of the public being tightly connected to our military. These are the days I wish for the lottery form of the draft. A great societal cohesion building project… Love or hate the military experience, least we got something in common. It is where all our classes and differences, we all randomly rub against each other. We really need a great project!!!

  • Josh Cinelli

    One minor note, Lake Champlain was not attached to 7th Fleet, CTF-70, or DESRON 15 when she had her incident. People keep tying collision to a degradation of readiness within FDNF, but Lake Champlain is based in San Diego, and worked for 3rd Fleet and the deployed DESRON during her recent deployment to WestPac. All of this is publicly available in open news sources.

  • vincedc

    We keep cutting budgets and forces, but never review requirements that we put on remaining resources. I know Congress will never accept some of the responsibility for these incidents, but they continue to sit on the hill with absolutely no idea or concern of the impacts of their decisions. Time to stop buying new stuff and invest in the assets that are deployed.

    • KenPrescott

      “If we cannot have the Estimates of our naval strategy, let us have the naval strategy of our Estimates.” — Ambroise Baudry

  • leroy

    I’m glad to see the Navy not letting the top-brass off the hook for these two (Fitz, McCain) incidents, as I have repeatedly called for. That’s the kind of culture change the USN has long needed.

  • Duane

    There’s more heads yet to roll, particularly on the McCain. Stand by.

    I expect these reliefs are due in part at least to the recent GAO report on the lack of current training certs on the ships based out of Yokosuka, which was very embarrassing to the Navy. Although one has to look hard at those training certs and what they actually mean. Did the crews not train sufficiently, or (as has been reported) were there not enough training certifiers available in Yokosuka to conduct the certs? If the latter it tends to point the finger more at senior leadership.

    Again, as always, until the full investigative reports are issued, we are left only with questions, not answers.

  • leroy

    These firings tells me some pretty uncomfortable facts are gonna come out regarding these two collisions. Gross derelictions of duty from the bridge all the way up the chain. The American people will get angry, but they’ll get past it IF it is obvious that the Navy is taking strong corrective actions. Congress needs to too!

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    Deny that early retirement request.

  • Retired Chief Petty Officer

    The first andmost damnng question is were there gundecked training reports on these ships? Some Petty Officers will be busted if gundekced reports are involved. Each Petty Officer has responsibilities to answer for when signing off Practical factors (if they still even do those in this “modern Navy”. If the whole training cycle is sluffed off onto a computer, then we really have a problem and may need to reactivate some of the old salt CPO’s who still know how to ensure orders are carried out.

    • Typical

      Part of the problem is that GMT regarding how it’s not a cool idea to rape coworkers is more important than operational training. Because you know apparently that’s a training problem, not a recruiting problem.

    • Rollie Flex

      “Reactivate” …They should NEVER EVER be replaced. In my Officer days of years before the mast , the ship could not operate without 1st Class and CPO’s . All the wizard desk jockeys always have the “answers”. The results are self evident.

      • mauloa

        Agree. Was it not the “wizard desk jockeys” sitting in the U.S. that called the shots on Benghazi. It’s always “lives” that pay the price of incompetence.

        • Rollie Flex

          I’ve had the personal experience of “lost lives” and pentagon desk jockeys. They
          always escape to the next higher pay grade.

          • mauloa

            My condolences. The tragedy in these cases is the best people are not the leaders, rather the solid hardworking underlings. Not as it should be.

          • Rollie Flex

            “BINGO” !!!

  • manlian

    So how did this incompetent person get so high up in the Navy? The Navy has a leadership problem and it has cost lives. People need to go to jail over this.

    • FollowDaMoney

      Think about what happened in 08 and over the next few years to all the competent individuals in the military.

      • mauloa

        That was my thinking. After firing all the competent leaders, there were eight years of “no expectations, no real interest in the military and the activating of social reforms”. That’s a long time to flow “with no real accountability”.

    • dennisl59

      The same way Nidal Malik Hasan was promoted…and no one went to jail.

  • ChemicalDeath

    These assholes are sure competent at pinning medals on each other though!

  • Littleredtop

    I hope someone is taking a close look at the possibility of navigational equipment being hacked. I can see North Korea, with their highly successful hacking ability, doing something like what we’ve recently seen.

    • Terry L Walker

      Sir, can we please stop blaming Everyone and Everything except the crew sailing this ship. What in the world did we do before “hack-able” Navigational Devices? We still require that Officers of the Bridge master the sexton yet they were incapable of Navigating a ship without electronic devices. The Crew of the Mayflower were more capable than these clowns.

      Why? Because everything is more important than War Fighting Skills! I’m sure the crew is ready for their next diversity training session!

      • Winslow

        Exactly. Let me see…navigational skills brings to mind, WWI, WWII, give me a break. Real sailors know how to SAIL!
        The “Peter Principle” has taken hold and the incompetent are promoted. AND political correctness is destroying our fighting forces on every level. Our military should have every dollar we can muster and NEVER should be cut back!
        .

      • Just my .02

        That’s a mouthful. Hopefully, we’re seeing things moving back in the direction they should, with Trump in charge, but for decades now, the US military has been engaged in social engineering, pretending girls can be just as capable SEALS as guys, yada yada. It’s a joke, and it weakens the military’s ability to do what it’s there for: kill people and break things. Past time for it to stop.

  • Pegon Zellschmidt

    MARCH 09, 2013

    CAMBRIDGE — Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, President Obama’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.

    • Rollie Flex

      The leading “desk jockey” in all the Pentagon

      • Chuck U. Schumer

        I polished up the handles so Care ful ly that now I am the ruler of Obama’s Nav vy.

        • Tangair

          So true, Mr G&S. Must. Obey. Newspeak.

    • airider

      What a joke of an administration driving their political agenda down to the fighting forces…

      • whoodoo

        In 2009, Obama added an extra criterion for promotion to flag rank, and promotions within flag ranks, and that was that the candidate agreed with his agenda for diversity and gender equality at all levels. That’s why you have such resistance and outspoken criticism of Trump, and any return to merit-basis as the deciding criteria, from the Pentagon.

        • Duane

          The American people agree with gender equality. It’s not a political fad invented by Obama. See the 19th Amendment. See virtually every opinion poll for the last 30 years. It is the law of the land. I know that must really bother the extremist right wingers no end, but boo hoo hoo.

          • Snoooopy

            “Gender equality” will meet a test if and when we get into a shooting war. Boo hoo and similar snark will not help then.

          • muzzleloader

            Boo hoo hoo? Really? Do you adress grown men like this face to face in your daily living?

          • Duane

            Yes, when they speak silly stuff, as you do routinely here, with your demands for ideological warfare on web sites dedicated to professionals in the military. If you ever served, and spoke like you do here, you would have likely been subject of multiple crap assignments, if not blanket parties. Professionals on watch in our nation’s defenses do not put up with juvenile political bull crap. The professionals stick to the subject.

          • This_isnotreal

            So you are a supporter of suppressing free thought when you don’t like it??? P.S. I served for 24 years and what you describe has no place in my military (I’m retired from active duty, but still a civil servant.) Blanket parties??? I know they have happened, intolerant and small minded amongst us resorted to that.

          • nekulturny

            If you have proof then you violated your oath by not testifying against the guilty parties.

          • muzzleloader

            Duanne if you think that Professionals don’t ever talk about this stuff you would be wrong. There is a time and place. We are not Automatons. There is cause and effect and people do discuss these things. What irks some of us is not that you disagree, but you get very snarky about it( right wingers, old farts, has beens, ect). We can disagree all day long, and still respect each other. How about being respectful with us?There are no topic police here, we can state our viewpoint. This is a forum after all. Btw, I never witnessed or heard of a blanket party either.

          • whoodoo

            If he did, he wouldn’t be here posting his garbage. 🙂

          • whoodoo

            I wouldn’t know about extremist right wingers, but I know that idiots like you would put “diversity” appointment and promotion (including race, gender “identity”, LGBT etc) ahead of merit or ability even in front-line military positions that would seriously jeopardize unit performance and morale. It would be the same way that Obama appointed a diversity idiot like K. Archuleta to head OPM and who oversaw the biggest national security breach in U.S. history – running around giving speeches about how much diversity she was bringing to the agency while the Chinese intelligence cyber agents were draining her data bases of deep info on all U.S. security holders right under her nose for months. And, as for the Am. people agreeing with gender equality, they’ve never had a chance to vote as a nation about it, only in some states where they rejected “gender equality” in reference to gay marriage. They had it forced down their throats by judicial activism.

          • Duane

            The 19th amendment was ratified by the States .

            I did not and do not believe that gender equality trumps competence – only idiots use a stupid straw man argument to attempt to get out of admitting that they are misogynists.

          • whoodoo

            Troll on, Duane

          • Duane

            Says the toll into the mirror

        • tim

          … while I am biased to believe this, can you please link a proof thereof?

          • This_isnotreal

            I doubt that it would be stated to bluntly, but I would expect that every president wants senior military leaders whose vision aligns with their own. This is not a slight against Obama even if true and meant to be. There is not likely a document that states these officers have to have a certain view. All 3 and 4 star officers are presidential appointments, so he can weed them out through the interview process. One and 2 star officers go through the normal selection board process so is is unlikely this would apply to them, even if true.

    • Nathan Durhing

      Hmmm…. I thought it would be lack of diversity.

      • whoodoo

        Probably a close second…

    • Rocco

      What does that have to do with this???

    • TheDude

      Why??? Won’t boats float in 2 more inches of water

    • Chuck U. Schumer

      Climate change!? Keel haul him.

    • MaskOfZero

      Does that climate change mean Global Warming or Global Cooling?

    • I wish this were totally unbelievable but I’ll take your word that it happened.

      A man who should have quietly been sent to command a large desk somewhere, preferably in a not too important private industry job.

  • Spinstopshere

    Starts at top, fire them all, start over without obamalite PC fake Navy commanders.

  • Martolt

    The Fitz and the McCain weren’t mere “collisions” – they were near-perfect ramming attacks, as is evident by the deep holes punched in both ships. The ramming ships had to be very close to perpendicular to cause this type of damage to the US ships… as opposed to the larger area but shallower glancing blow type of damage seen when ships accidentally collide. Two ramming attacks in two months, whereas you can’t find another such incident of a near-perfect perpendicular ramming in the preceding 50 years between such large ships.

    Both ramming attacks also targeted the exact same key area: the communications room and tech sleeping berths. As to lookouts, both ramming attacks happened in early morning hours, when visibility was low. Also, the Arleigh-Burke Class ships do not have anything approaching a crow’s nest. China did it, alright. Two very successful, and very cowardly, “assassin’s mace” type attacks as are known to be a big part of their military doctrine. As are first strikes and sneak attacks. The old giant, the USA, is tottering around, and we may not even strike back this time. Or, China may suddenly have a string of unexplained tragic accidents with their submarine fleet. Only time will tell. China’s leaders might want to remember the last time someone did a sneak attack on the USA. As I recall, it didn’t work out too well for them.

    • Moonchalk

      Wrong Martoit. The ships in question could NOT have gotten to close range absent complete incompetence on the navy vessels in question. You have no sea experience.

    • waveshaper1

      Small/Fast/Nimble/Well Armed/Low Vis/Turn on a Dime Destroyer versus Slow/Lumbering/Non-Turning/Gargantuan/Evil Commercial Ships. Simple Answer; Google “Austin Powers International Man Of Mystery Steamroller Scene”.

    • USNVO

      Except that if you look at both ships, the impact angle was from the quarter. In the case of the Fitzgerald around 150 and for the McCain around 210. Also, the impact on the McCain was aft and no where near the communications central. You really need to work on your conspiracy theories, they are way to easy to punch holes in.

  • Rum-itis ?

  • John Warden

    That’s just the beginning, because we all know “it” rolls down hill.

  • Freedom?

    Well I mean, to be fair, here, how are you gonna name a ship “John Mc Cain and not expect it to be a horrible ship, absent any direction?

  • Clive Spines

    Hacked, schmacked! Where is the investigation of the bridge watch crew? How long had they been on the ship? What was the make-up of the bridge watch crew (males, females, illegal aliens, minorities, transgenders, homosexuals, etc.)? When professionalism is placed second in importance to social engineering, bad things are going to happen. Was this bridge watch crew so under-experienced and under-trained that they couldn’t tell their ship was in extremis as a huge oil tanker closed down on them without consulting their cell phones? Looks like a really sad display of seamanship (or lack thereof).

    • Kevin Lookin

      When I was enlisted and served watch on a destroyer most watches read books, listened to music, or some would get blow jobs. I dunno about today but back in Clinton’s Navy in 98′-99′ no one treated watches with any seriousness…. Now millions of people might get nuked in Los Angeles just because we don’t have the anti-missile ship out there because some lesbian transexual woman was busy putting makeup on during her watch.

      • retrocon

        The big question today is either why didn’t the automated collision systems notify someone, or why were the warnings ignored?

        The systems are far more sophisticated than in the Clinton years, even if you getting that BJ, you should be listening.

      • OldSaltUSNR

        The very worst thing one can do is “assume” a fact. I’m as old school as you get, but hanging this on a gay sailor or lax morals won’t fix the problem, if the problem is elsewhere. Too much automation, or not enough, faulty training programs, OR SJW issues, we need the facts. My concern is that the Navy by itself as an institution, is incapable of even asking the right questions.

        One indication that this is the case is that the Navy is firing Admirals (and lower ranks) before the investigations are over, and the facts are in. It’s as if the CNO is “showing” action by firing, demonstrating “the Navy is serious about this”, when in fact it’s only serious about CYA. I understand accountability issues well, but I’d rather fire ONE Captain, DESRON, or Fleet Commander AND Court Martial him for bonking a subordinate, tanking quals (or allowing a qual system that bypasses genuine qualification testing), faking training, approving faulty policy or systems, or for whatever other demonstrable cause, rather than see 200 officers and enlisted careers terminated “just for show”.

        I am absolutely convinced that the Navy needs, really needs, and competent outside investigation (i.e. not a Mueller type scalp hunting expedition) WITHOUT politics to ask necessary questions, and fairly interpret the answers. If the Navy could investigate itself, we probably wouldn’t have the problems. Bring back retired Admirals in their 80’s, add a “top runner” or two from the fleet (no higher rank than LCDR), add private sector mariners and Captains (preferably with an “old” Navy background), add some top minds from the CEO and research firms, and get to the answers. Give the answers to the Navy, and after implementing fix and plans, the Navy should PUBLISH the results of both the study and changes, to hold itself accountable.

        Unfortunately, none of this will happen.

        • Rocco

          Kudos very well put!!

        • Donald Carey

          You left out some mid level enlisted sailors (NOT Chief Petty Officers). Without their input, the investigation could not be complete.

          • OldSaltUSNR

            True, their input is critical.

            However, by the time I was a LT/LCDR, my chief’s had trained me well enough that I knew what questions to ask. I knew my guys job as well as my own (not that I could perform it as well!).

            The investigation would be speaking with NCO’s, for certain, at all levels. They wouldn’t be excluded from the investigation; the investigation would give the rates a voice. The wouldn’t need to be on the investigation team if the right officers (and maybe a MC or SC) were on the team. (Unfortunately, the way these things go, they would never be “equal partners”; they’d be running around as errand boys when in the presence of retired Flag and active duty O’s. That’s not to diminish the value of enlisted rates; it’s just military order and discipline. I wouldn’t want one of my command’s enlisted NCO’s on such a “tiger team”. I wouldn’t do that to them. )

  • JimFogleman

    The ship’s name will be changed to the Sen. McCain. The earlier John McCain’s were great admirals, but Sen. McCain weaves like a drunken sailor just as this ship does.

  • HappyJack1

    Many in this generation of men and women who serve have the attention span of a two year old. Gays, transgenders and women taking billets normally given to those with experience and training is also killing the military. You only have 24 hours in a day and taking any of that time dealing with non-military issues is a weakening of any mission. If the US Navy wants to be a social service then drop the notion that you are a military branch altogether because I know NK and Iran, China and Russia are watching and calculating while we try to make sure our gays and transgenders are happy. The Captains and Admirals didn’t wreck those ships, I put it on Obama, Sec Carter and Congress.

  • John Warden

    I’ve never been on an active ship so I don’t know, but are cell phones and gaming devices allowed on ships? I know cell phones can’t be used for calls due to no cell towers, but they do have games and stuff, that could be why the sailors on bridge aren’t paying attention to other ships. I don’t know, just asking.

    • andyandersonusa

      A private cell phone is what was used to get information to the Navy that the USS Fitzgerald had been struck and was taking on water. Casualties unknown at the time.

  • JohnQTaxPayer66

    We don’t have enough ships and crews to meet the demands. 100+ hour work weeks are fine for short stretches but when you run your crews into the ground in perpetuity you can’t keep up with maintenance, training or personnel wellness. The Navy really needs to bring the FFG to life faster to take the load off the Arliegh Burke’s. This incompetence is 20 years in the making.

    • Very Stable Genius

      This comment is too close to reality. Please delete it and start over by blaming either President Obama or President Trump.

      • cvr527

        Actually all of this PC crap started under Clinton, only slightly abated under w and went full speed ahead under Obama. Trump has not been in office long enough to have had an effect one way or the other. I don’t know about the Navy, but Clinton’s appointees were devastating to the Army. At least half of the casualties from the invasion of Iraq were a direct result of the incompetence of the Army leadership put in place by Clinton appointees.

        • Duane

          Most of the US Army casualties did not occur until 2005-2007, during the second Bush 41 administration. Fighting the insurgency that never should have been created, all created at the hands of incompetent Bush-43 appointees.

          Everybody knows that the casualties were due to horrible non-planning and horrible tactical decisions made by Bush 43’s appointees both during the runup to the Iraq invasion, and then cluelessly disbanding the entire Iraqi army after Saddam was deposed … starting with his SecDef. The bleeding didn’t stop, literally, until Bush 43 was forced to cashier most of his own appointees and start all over again, putting a young whippersnapper (Petraeus) in charge vaulting above all of his senior officers that the US Senate, under GOP control, confirmed during the previous 5-6 years.

      • Jim Petersen

        The blame can start with the Dem’s

      • JohnQTaxPayer66

        Id love to point the finger at just a president, but it’s 2 decades of yes men in leadership, an inept bureaucracy that is Navsea, a broken Congress that sold the military out and ignored both maintenance and geopolitical threats, and an acquisition system that is entirely rigged for big defense contractors to overbill the tax payer.

    • Duane

      And your evidence of 100 hour work weeks on a Arleigh Burke DDG with nearly 300 officers and crew is?

      Not having “enough ships” is not equal to not having enough officers and crew on each ship.

      Besides, the Navy never ever has enough ships. Show me an Admiral who declares he has all the ships he needs, and I’ll show you a politician who tells the truth.

      • Pat Galliher

        GAO report stated that 7th Fleet sailors are working an average of 108 hours per week and are deployed 67% of the time.

        • Duane

          I must have missed that part of the GAO report. GAO would likely have no knowledge of work hours by navy sailors, since GAO being accountants live and breath data. Work hours are never recorded – there are no timesheets in the US Navy. I doubt in the extreme that bridge crew and officers on DDGs are working anywhere near 108 hours per work on average, forward deployed or not

          We used 3 section duty on SSNs when I served back in the Cold War (except for us reactor operators who got stuck on P&S occasionally due to a shortage of reactor operators). Typical work week on three section was 56 hours on watch plus another 24-34 hours per week on maintenance, drills, field day, and study underway – 80-90 hours total on perennially short handed submarines

          I understand most large surface warships with their far larger crews stand fewer watches than that, with the typical rotation being four section duty or an average of 42 hours per week on watch. No way the average watchstander is routinely doing 108 hours a week on four section duty. That would be 42 hours a week on watch, plus another 64 hours of maintenance, field day, ships drills, and study time. It’s possible that there may be occasional evolutions where the individual crew member workload gets that high, but not as a normal routine.

          • Pat Galliher

            I was on five surface ships, from an MSO to a CG. I never stood anything except P&S while underway (I was an OS). That’s 84 hours. Add PMS and other assigned duties, 108 comes pretty quick.

          • Duane

            That’s contrary to the standard in today’s navy. Please provide your source for anything that says otherwise. Everything I’ve seen online says 4 section is standard in the surface fleet today. In my entire time in the sub service, which was notoriously under-crewed compared to surface ships, the standard was three section duty. I never met a skimmer who claimed P&S was the standard rotation on their ship.

          • Pat Galliher

            I was also in during the Cold War (’70s and ’80s). As an OS, P&S was standard underway.
            In “Today’s Navy” they are operating with much smaller crews and much more automation, possibly it has changed.
            The only time I ever saw 4 section duty was in-port. My shore tour was three sections (Port Services, TI driving tugs)

          • KenPrescott

            “That’s contrary to the standard in today’s navy. ”

            That is so CUTE!

            “Everything I’ve seen online says 4 section is standard in the surface fleet today.”

            Uh-huh. That’s the “standard.” And C7F then proceeds to issue permanent waivers from the r”standard” so that the crews in 7th Fleet end up with long-expired warfare quals . . . because they simply do not have enough bodies and enough man-hours to do the PMS, stand watch, do the stupid queep, and maintain their credentials . . .

          • Duane

            State your case, provide facts. The normal complement for the Arleigh Burke DDG is just under 300 officers and crew. Provide your proof that the ship was operating well under that complement. If you can’t provide the proof, then you’re simply bloviating.

          • KenPrescott

            “State your case, provide facts. The normal complement for the Arleigh Burke DDG is just under 300 officers and crew. ”

            Oh, you really think you’re clever, don’t you?

            The ship was originally designed for a crew of 332. More than 30 bodies off of the design complement but they’re magically not undermanned because less than 300 is “normal?” Funny how you didn’t mention that little detail.

            Give it up, Duane. (If you’re a ship driver and not some staff pogue, I sincerely hope you’re better at it than you are at debate and discussion.)

          • Duane

            Uhh, no, the complement is under 300. It was never 332 – you just pulled that number out of your hindquarters.

            For a warship of around 8,300 tons for the Flight Is, a complement of around 300 is pretty normal across the world, in fact it’s on the heavy side of modern designs. For instance, the UK’s Type 45 destroyers of the same displacement have a complement of only 191. The Russian Udaloy class destroyers, a bit smaller in the 7,000 ton range have a complement of 300, The Japanese Kongo class DDGs, a bit smaller at around 6,000 tons but of similar vintage and design as the AB Flight Is, have a complement of 260. The newer Takanami class DDGs of Japan, about the same size as the Kongo class, have a much smaller complement of just 175.

            Yet none of these other destroyers are colliding with merchant ships, despite have the same or much smaller complements as the McCain and Fitz.

          • KenPrescott

            I pulled that from an old Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet. Try again. The world actually existed before 2017.

          • Duane

            It’s not the complement of the Fitz or the McCain today. Look it up.

          • KenPrescott

            “It’s not the complement of the Fitz or the McCain today.”

            Congratulations! You finally managed to swerve into the problem!

            30+ bodies went bye-bye from each DDG-51 over the past 15 years. The maintenance load didn’t decrease any, but the number of bodies available to do the maintenace sure did!

          • Duane

            The complement was not reduced. Prove it if you say so. You can’t.

          • KenPrescott

            Per Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet, 14th Edition, 1987: 325 crew (first Flight I ships were well underway on construction at that point, so the design had been long frozen)
            Per FAS website, 323 for Flight I, 380 for Flight IIA
            Per your statement up thread on present manning: less than 300 (presumably for Flight I–I do NOT want to think about going to sea with less than 80% manning).
            “less than 300” is less than 323 or 329. Therefore, the complement has been reduced. Arigato gozaimasu.

          • Duane

            No flight I ABs were even in service until 1991 – four years after the document you cite, which could only have been guess what it would take to operate a brand new design warship that didn’t even get launched until more than two years later. Just as the initial manning plan for the LCS projected a crew of only 46 plus mission module crew of 23 for a total of 69. After operating for a few years it was determined that appropriate manning for the LCS today is about 90 give or take, while crew and officer berthing can accommodate up to about 100.

          • KenPrescott

            Flight I was actually under construction in 1987. Design was frozen at that point, and crew complement is a key component of design that has to be nailed down PRIOR to design freeze, because that drives your berthing, HVAC, and mess deck requirements, just for starters.

            FAS is based on 1990s manning figures. The Navy’s own website gives a 323 crew figure (obviously has not kept up with the manpower reductions you say didn’t happen).

            20-30 bodies is 40-60,000 man-hours per year for each ship. That would explain why ships tied up at 32nd Street have running rust…

            Nice to know that the Little Cr*ppy Ship That Couldn’t, Doesn’t, And Won’t Ever got all those “extra” sailors. Gotta salvage some program manager’s career, I guess…

          • Duane

            The LCS is just fine, thank you. The designers don’t know how many bodies will be needed to operate optimally, because designers don’t operate, or fill out a watchbill, or know how well everything and everybody will actually perform until the ship goes into service and performs, particularly with a brand new ship type, rather than just a minor upgrade to an older ship type.

          • KenPrescott

            “The LCS is just fine, thank you.”

            Aside from not actually being able to perform a militarily useful mission, of course.

            Bottom line: you’ve drunk the Kool-Ade. You’re beyond help.

          • Duane

            You’re simply totally wrong. The LCS is the world’s finest, most capable littoral warship, period, no other comes remotely close. And littorals are where probably 80% of the world’s naval battlepace is located. So yeah, the LCS performs a “militarily useful mission, of course”.

            Educate yourself instead of repeating lies.

          • KenPrescott

            “The LCS is the world’s finest, most capable littoral warship, period, no other comes remotely close.”

            It dies if it gets hit by anything more lethal than a dirty look, its self-defense capability can’t STOP a dirty look, let alone a Sunburn, it solves the enemy’s scouting problem for him, it’s a fuel hog because of that idiotic speed requirement, the gun mount can’t shoot straight and causes network cards and cable connectors to pop loose, and that’s the finest?

            Give it up, son, the rest of the world actually uses real weapons to fight wars, not PR brochures from NAVSEA…

          • Duane

            LCS has extremely robust multi-layered self defense weapons as well as offensive weapons. Even large DDGs, if they take an ASCM hit, are most likely going to be out of action. We don’t build heavily armored ships anymore, not since WW Two. We build ships with superior offensive and defensive weapons.

          • KenPrescott

            “LCS has extremely robust multi-layered self defense weapons as well as offensive weapons.”

            The only way the LCS’ weapons are offensive is that they offend my sense of cost, performance, and schedule.

            “Even large DDGs, if they take an ASCM hit, are most likely going to be out of action.”

            They’ll be put out of action. But they’ll still be afloat. The LCS won’t. Taking that thing into its intended operational environment is essentially a choice between victory and death, and I am not dumb enough to put my money on victory.

          • Duane

            LCS have the same or better antiship cruise missiles as deployed on any of our CGs and DDGs – the Harpoon and soon to include the much longer range Naval Strike Missile. Advantage LCS. When LRASM is deployed next year, it will become available to the LCS at the same time as the CGs and DDGs, via a redesigned angled canister deck launcher (modified from the existing launcher now used by both LCS and DDGs). So no advantage at all for the DDGs and CGs.

            NSM and LRASM are the very best,most capable offensive antiship weapons in the world …. and LCS will get them same time as our other CGs and DDGs.

            Really, do a little reseach and stop making a fool of yourself claiming that LCS doesn’t have an offensive capability. It’s had Harpoons for a couple years now already.

      • Jim Petersen

        Mike Lee

      • JohnQTaxPayer66

        Recent GAO report, see the article in military times on manning and ship availability. The Navy has had a gaping hole in it’s surface fleet with the retirement of the FFGs and failed LCS, layups of half the Tico Cruisers with zero effort to develop replacements. The Navy is in its lowest level of operational capability in more than 50 years. With acceleration Of decline due to terrible policy, management and budgeting the last 8 years. Of course be a random poster with uninformed opinion, but stick to trolling Yahoo ans Reddit posts where low IQs opinions are welcome.

        • Duane

          GAO does not know how many hours are worked by sailors. The Navy does not use timesheets. The crew and officers and CO certainly know, of course.

          LCS is the opposite of failure – it’s a roaring success. It’s only in the minds of retrograde old retired sailors who hate change who think it’s been a failure. It’s exactly the type of small surface combatant our Navy needs, exactly when we need it.

          • JohnQTaxPayer66

            Yes and with more than 2 dozen commanding officers I regularly work with as a contractor I can tell you I didn’t just hypothesize this notion based simply on a GAP report, I can wear the “been there – done that” hat quite comfortably based on my actual time in service. You’ve lost the argument on LCS too many times for me to waste any more space on the failed LCS program. It’s junk, they are only building them to keep the shipyards operating until the come up with an FFG, everyone knows it. #reality

          • Duane

            I’ve lost no arguments on LCS. They are, and will continue to be, the most capable littoral warship on the planet.

          • JohnQTaxPayer66

            Bwahahahaha… thanks for making my point. Absolutely zero people agree with you that aren’t getting paid by the program.

          • Duane

            The US Navy, the US Congress, and the current SecDef all agree with me. They are the only ones who count.

            bwaa bwaa bwaa, cry all the way through the internet, but they aren’t listening to you, or to me. They do what they do.

  • Moonchalk

    No matter questions of “hacking” (into what I have no idea) the Bridge watch crew, if they were competent would have avoided all the collisions. Without breaking a sweat. Therefore, there is a systemic problem with BASIC sea keeping competence in the Pacific Fleet. That it has been allowed to exist for so long means that on the command chain from the CNO down, needs to be removed.

  • SkiBum

    Unfair. They may not be getting their seamanship training but they’ve been busy in diversity classes. They’ve all gotten their transgender certs. What else could you ask for?

  • Stick

    It takes a lot of stupid to let a destroyer be hit by a massive container ship. To do it twice in a year is truly an exceptional level of stupid. We know from early reports that the problem is not hardware or software. Ergo we are dealing with fleshware. I doubt we will get any real answers on these incidents as it likely doesn’t support the enforced religious dogmas that we all must worship.

    • andyandersonusa

      Stick it to them.

    • mariner138

      I saw a news clip today (9/20) from yesterday’s Senate hearing. ADM. Richardson admitted that officer watchstander training started going downhill in 2004 when SUW school was cut for budgetary reasons and replaced with computer training.

      As those officers advanced, they apparently lacked knowledge to properly train newer JOs. Epic fail. Apparently, the beat went on, so now, some real watchstander dopes are minding the store on the bridge. Must be slow learners if the effects of this didn’t show up/sink in for over 10 years.

      He also mentioned that due to crew reductions and high optempo, many personnel are working 100 hour weeks.

  • SkiBum

    These wrecks were all due to climate change. Sudden rise in sea level caught them by surprise.

  • Terry L Walker

    Maybe, just Maybe the United States Navy and all of the Department of Defense could get back to War Fighting and forget the stupid Diversity Training! When everything is more important than sailing the ship; this stuff happens. If only we could see our way out of the Political Correctness and return our Department of Defense to mastery of War Fighting Skills!

  • Moe Higgins

    I wonder how many people were on those ships that were not well qualified, but were standing watch or in leadership positions because diversity and multi-culturalism make us stronger. Back in the day we went through intensive training on ship handling, rules of the road, and seamanship. Now I understand they just hand you a CD and tell you to get the training once you report aboard.

  • damionblackthorn

    During Obama’s reign, he destroyed the Navy’s Leadership. He fired the warriors and replaced them with politically correct officers. Those who would go along with his social engineering project of the military. Navy Secretary Mabus was a total disaster for the Navy. He reduced them to incompetence. His program was to make them aware of LGBT and other socialist ideas and not naval competence, such as navigation, attack preparations, naval strategy.
    Thus we have a Navy that is totally incapable of protecting or projecting American power and determination.
    This is Obama’s legacy to America and it’s now coming to the front. We see what the democrats have done to America, once again.

    • John Locke

      LOL.
      The change in the Navy training strategy started way before Obama and the whole Obama firing 200 Generals and Admirals urban legend has been debunked.

      • Joe Contana

        I saw the Navy start getting into the “diversity” game in the mid-90s. I thought it was just a fad, like Total Quality Management or whatever the Navy called it, and would disappear in a couple of years. Boy, was I wrong.

        • GMBurns

          I noticed that the Navy went ‘politically correct’ a lot faster than the other services too. I believe that the Marines have also been influenced, but less pervasively, mostly in the highest ranks.

        • antoniathatcher

          Remember the navy tailhook ‘scandal’ under Clinton? That was the first strike to install affirmative action in to the Navy.

      • correcht

        debunked.? By who, where , when, why.
        Back up your claim

        • roner

          Back up your claim he’s wrong!

          • SJMWilco

            john is the one making the claim that this has been ‘debunked’. john has been asked repeatedly to cite his evidence. he is unable to do so. the fact is that obungles retired experienced officers and replaced them with socially correct but inexperienced officers who agreed with his social engineering goals. prior to these replacements, no problems. after these replacements, problems.

          • John Locke

            Well i can’t post links so here are a couple titles that will get you there.

            Did President Obama Really Purge the Military?

            and

            Is Obama purging the US military leadership?

            I trust Google works for you as well as it does for me.

            and BTW, there were many more incidents, costly incidents in life and material prior to the Obama admin which is easily Googled as well so your claim about the the replacements causing problems is a non-starter and not backed up by any concrete evidence.

          • teezelkitty

            Deflection Alert!

          • Jim Petersen

            Doesn’t have to until JLocke proves his point with facts instead of proclamations. Works the same way in all facets of life roner, example: I don’t have to prove I am innocent because of the seriousness of the allegations.

      • damionblackthorn

        Really…debunked by who? Obama? Unfortunately, your reply shows how little you investigate and how quick you are to believe the claptrap that comes from the liberal side of the isle….and the Navy training you so quickly dismiss, did not start way before Obama…it started with and by Obama…easy to confirm, if you can read…

        • Donald Carey

          Aisle, not isle…

  • disqus_5xMLkeAuZ4

    Technology is a b$&ch if ur unwilling to learn, utilize & adapt! what other systems r grossly vulnerable to cyber attack? The country of Jobs & Gates, yet the LEADERS of the worlds most powerful Navy r technically derelict

    • GMC/USN

      Whether there was a cyber attack or not is irrelevant, you can’t hack eyes. The bridge watch team and lookouts failed to perform simple observation and reporting which would have prevented both accidents. This is a lack of proper watch standing the only technology issue is they relied on it to much and obviously nobody was paying attention to it and that includes the CIC watch team as well.

      • Joey ZASA!

        Zactly. Thats why you have mother arfing watch

      • disqus_5xMLkeAuZ4

        Agreed. I’m not certain about modern protocol. Modern warships r auto piloted & depend upon GPS greatly. That said, stands to reason there should always be eyes on the bridge.

  • patriotism-matters

    This is a HUGE COVERUP. Those ships blocked something awful from getting to US. Perhaps something that fits in a SUITCASE!!!

    • SkiBum

      Your nightie?

    • Joey ZASA!

      Boxes of tin foil hats?

    • Tecumseh1768

      Beta release iPhone?

  • The Man from Fair Oaks

    Help is on the way. The last time we had a President that cared about the Navy was Ronald Reagan

    • John Locke

      Did they ever find Trumps missing armada?

  • SkiBum

    Obama’s Generals never said that competency was our strength, just diversity.

  • andyandersonusa

    Two questions: Has the PC culture affected training and seamanship skills to any deleterious degree, such as a basic ability to do the job required and communicate clearly and effectively information; and has any brass involved been promoted based upon daddy being a ring knocker?

    • Winslow

      Surely a rhetorical question…?
      You’ve his a big nail on it’s big head!

  • gmm777

    I would hardly call Trump a SJW

  • Dr. RightWing

    Thanks, Sen. McCain. Keep up the good work!

  • USNVO

    Is the Navy going to revisit some of the really stupid training decisions made to save money in the last 15 years or so that dumped all training on the ship? SWOS in the box is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • cappelletti63

    lol

  • cappelletti63

    Gary , You mind if I call you Jerry ? That’s what I call all guys named Gary who are as confused as the transgender . You and your pathetic party lost. Will continue to lose as most of you are meaningless.

  • Very Stable Genius

    You have no idea what you are talking about. This didn’t happen because of Obama appointees or because of promotions while he was in office. There are many reasons to take a swipe at President Obama but this isn’t one of them.

    • muzzleloader

      Uh, in case you didn’t know, Obama was the commander in chief for 8 years. For 8 years he appointed Service secretaries who were grossly unqualified for thier jobs, among them, probably the worst SecNav in generations who in turn made terrible decisions that are having terrible effects in the fleet today, and our military as a whole. Does Obama bear some blame here? Yes!

      • Duane

        Uh, in case you didn’t know, President Trump was Commander in Chief for ALL of the recent ship handling failures of the US Navy.

        And he is no more to blame for driving warships into merchant ships than was Obama.

        The US Navy doesn’t take helm orders from CinC. To blame this on any President is beyond stupid.

        • Kevin Lookin

          Duane saying that to not blame this on any President is ridiculous. The President affects the military tremendously with personnel and policy. For 8 years Obama’s military priorities were gays, transexuals, and leaders who would carry out his social engineering. His priority was not military readiness. Yes Obama deserves blame.

          • Duane

            Gays in the military were settled back in the 1990s. Transgenders make up such a vastly tiny percentage of any population as to be totally insignificant.

            Military policies are determined by senior members of the military – JCS and lower, in accordance with laws that are enacted by the Congress. And the Senate is the final arbiter on flag rank promotions. The GOP has run the Senate since January 2015 in case you didn’t notice, and the GOP ran the Senate for most of the prior two decades as well. Meaning Republicans have been in charge of most everything military for most of the last two decades. The President is Commander in Chief, but that is confined mostly to just determining the commands given to our senior service chiefs, in accordance with laws determined by Congress, like whether to surge troops in Afghanistan, or to go to Congress and ask for an AUMF. Presidents are completely ignored on funding issues – Congress always goes its own way on military appropriations, which determines what our military does on a day to day basis than any commands (or tweets) issued by the CinC.

            You guys need to go back and retake your 8th grade civics classes to figure out how our nation is actually governed.

          • john

            No need to resort to insults. It makes you look bad, and distracts from the point you are trying to make.

          • Duane

            It is an insult to say that people who don’t understand 8th grade civics don’t actually understand 8th grade civics?

            I think not.

            You must think you deserve a safe space for your obvious ignorance of facts. I think not. This is an adult forum. Stating a fact is not an “insult”. Better go back to 6th grade English language class too.

          • Gadsden Flag

            Yeah transgenders may make up a vastly tiny percentage of the population, but transgender training in the military is taking up a large percentage of the training time. I’m sure the staffs on the bridge of all those ships were totally “transgender” trained and proficient and had wasted so much time on that bulls&%@t they didn’t have time to train properly for their jobs.

          • Duane

            And what were Congress’s priorities during those 8 years?

            Because the GOP controlled at least one branch of Congress, the House (that is, the institution constitutiionally charged with writing all funding/appropriations bills that actually determine what our military does or does not do), for 6 of Obama’s 8 years in office. And the GOP controlled both houses of Congress for the last two years before Trump showed up.

            That timeframe happens to coincide with the appointments of all the senior officers involved in the chain of command for the two ship collisions, all of which were approved by the Senate after January 2015.

            My point here is not to say it’s Congress’s job to issue helm orders either.

            It is solely within the control and command of the Commanding Officer of each and every naval ship as to where his or her ship gets steered into merchant ships, or not. The COs may have been influenced by senior commanders above them, but as I wrote, the President does not determine who they are. Naval boards of promotion determine who goes where and whether they are sufficiently qualified to command. Note that President Trump is not removing any of these officers – the Naval command is making these decisions.

          • MichaelH1836

            My dislike (even hatred) for Obama is palpable, but blaming him for a collision between two underway vessels is incredibly stupid. If the shoe fits, old son…

          • Duane

            My point exactly – I voted against Obama both elections, and I voted against Trump too. Neither is the fall guy for naval incompetence at the individual warship level of command – only the CO has that responsibility. The squadron and fleet commanders do share some small part of blame too – if only for accepting incompetent performance by their subordinates. Getting to the oval office requires so many layers of upward blaming as to be totally meaningless.

            Like blaming the CEO of a multinational conglomerate because someone did a poor job of management at the individual factory level,or the individual assembly line level.

          • Rocco

            Agreed…But with 4 major incidents involving 4 war ship’s it’s more than just command level. Skimming of the top has to be addressed. Merely not a coincidence!!

          • Duane

            Well, only two major incidents involving either death or injury, or expensive physical damage.

            Groundings and minor collisions happen pretty much all the time in the Navy, always has, probably always will.

          • Rocco

            Yes on the 1st …… With the way things are now I’d say any minor incident will cave in a Captain’s future!!

          • Refguy

            “Only” two – out of seven!

          • Duane

            “Only” as compared to four. People are trying to conflate the number to make it appear scarier than it is. Groundings and minor collisions with small vessels happen all the time, and so are not relevant to the “sky is falling” mantra. The large ship collisions are indeed extremely serious.

          • York

            Consider what the rest of the navy would have done if after the first accident every officer on call was given a dishonorable discharge… I suspect it would have instantly been a wake up call to every other commander that they better make sure their men did their jobs…. but the prolonged investigation period allowed the wake up call to be put on snooze.

          • Rocco

            Well you can’t hold the whole ship responsible unless you were on duty that pertains to safe passage of the ship!! Including the Skipper! XO!,OOD,OOW, engineering, etc!!

          • York

            Sure you can. It might not seem fair but if you got every man that was in command of an area that could have stopped this from happening you could have sent a message. Yes someone in engineering would have been clueless but certainly the commander on the bridge failed and was responsible as was anyone that was manning the radar. Ships don’t move with rocket like speed at any given moment someone should have noticed the ships were on a collision course but somehow they never seemed to notice. Frankly someone wasn’t doing their job…. but no we have a long investigation that still isn’t finished when the graves of those killed are long since cold.

          • Rocco

            What others aboard can’t see or know can’t be responsible!! The bridge has the con & control!! End of story.

          • Mostly right, but the CO (skipper) is ALWAYS on duty for safe passage, whether he’s asleep or awake, even if he’s temporarily not aboard.

            Say the ship’s in port overnight and the CO is ashore. A fire breaks out and between poor training and things that don’t work right, people get killed. Guess who is held responsible?

            He’s expected to train and supervise his crew so that they function properly even when he’s NOT looking. If they screw up badly then by definition the training and/or supervision wasn’t good enough. If for some reason he doesn’t have the resources or the people he has are just lousy quality then he’s expected to say so bluntly. And even that may not fully protect him: He voluntarily took command and if his evaluation before he did so was “These people are so badly screwed up that the ship’s unsafe” he should not have assumed command.

            It’s the ultimate ‘no excuses’ job.

          • Rocco

            With 10 yrs of service I think I know this!! Lol thanks for the reply. As for refusing to take command it not his call!! Even if it’s a pink sub!! Lol⚓️

          • Naw … you can always refuse to relieve. You better have good reasons, it may be a career-ender even if you’re right, but if the situation is sick enough you’re a fool to relieve a watch or a CO.

            A watch or a command is a LEGAL responsibility. There’s a formal procedure by which it transfers to you and that doesn’t happen if you refuse your part of the procedure. YOU will be the first person in hot water but if the OOD doesn’t know where your ship is or ships material condition and training is in your view seriously dangerous you better state that case and act accordingly. One second after you relieve it’s all on your shoulders.

          • Rocco

            What part of what I said didn’t you understand???? I got 10yrs I know I stood bridge watch!!

          • Sorry … perhaps I’m just denser than usual tonight.

          • Joy Castle

            So Duane if you voted against Trump, you are a Hillary voter and she is worse than Obama !

          • Rocco

            How do you know??? There were 11 candidates from the start of the campaign!!! Not that this is the topic here!!

          • Duane

            I only vote for sane, sensible people. Neither Obama nor Trump met that set of rather minimal quals.

          • Joy Castle

            So one way or the other, You vote went to Hillary and you think she meets those standards ?…………Vic

          • Duane

            Yes, Hillary Clinton is sane and sensible. Trump clearly is not.

          • Joy Castle

            Enough said right there, thank you patient.
            Vlic

          • Duane

            I was with the majority of voters, you know.

            And I had never in my life before ever voted for a Democrat. That’s how insane and insensible Trump is.

            And of course, Trump’s opinion ratings are in the dumps, mid-30s. Lowest in history for any POTUT in the first year in office. That’s not the bottom either.

          • muzzleloader

            Patient? Lol

          • muzzleloader

            Hillary is sane and sensible? Have you paid attention to all her ramblings as to why she lost? She blames everyone but Darth Vader, and you think that she is sensible?

          • Duane

            I’m not going to get into an argument over HRC vs. Trump. I was asked above who I voted for, and why. I answered. A clear majority of Americans agreed with me, and far more agree now than last November.

          • nekulturny

            “Hillary Clinton is sane and sensible.”

            ok then…thanks for your service…glad you’re out. blocked for lack of touch with reality. May you live forever.

          • This_isnotreal

            I voted, but we’re not obligated to do so. Because one didn’t vote for Trump doesn’t mean they voted for Hilary. That said, there is no circumstance that I can come up with in which I would have voted for Hilary. There has been one scandal or another associated with the Clintons for as long as they have been in the public eye.

          • Actually, the CEO frequently IS blamed for ongoing poor management or when the picture is clear enough, for a single seriously damaging corporate decision. Boards of Directors are pretty hard-nosed in well-run companies; a CEO who doesn’t deliver results is very likely to be an ex-CEO in the near future.

            And this CAN be a pattern of poor QC on the assembly line or of fudging inspections, or cheating on an important part of a design … Being a CEO or combat commander isn’t supposed to be a right or easy to do: Either deliver or you’re out.

            It’s worse in the military than civilian life because men frequently are killed when sloppy command practices allow ‘never should happen’ events like this last two collisions.

            It can be even worse — you can lose a battle, for example. The military’s not a place for people who expect participation trophies.

          • Duane

            CEOs arent fired over an incompetent middle manager. CEOs are fired if they don’t produce sufficient profits.

          • Refguy

            When two of the seven ships in a DesRon are in involved in loss-of-life collisions at sea within months of one another, the Commodore shares more than a “small part” of the blame. The first one, maybe, but he didn’t do enough to ensure that there wouldn’t be a repeat performance

          • Duane

            I rather think that’s why the admirals in the chain of command were relieved.

            But no matter what, 98% of the blame falls on the CO. That’s what it means to wear the commander’s pin.

          • This_isnotreal

            Ordinarily I would agree that the CO is ultimately responsible, but due to budget cuts and sequestration, ships have been allowed to deploy waivers to their certifications in areas of navigation, combat readiness, etc, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened more often than it has, although we’re starting to see accidents in other services as well. I don’t think anyone should have been fired unless it could be shown that even under normal circumstances there would have been a loss of confidence in their command ability. I think Congress is the blame.

          • The problem is the standards of command and watchkeeping that allowed those collisions to occur. I expect others here stood OOD underway watches out there as I did many years past and that virtually all would agree that simply following normal procedures with the attention to duty that has always been expected (indeed, demanded) would have prevented these terrible events.

            These were ‘never should happen’ accidents. Not ‘rarely,’ but NEVER. But they did happen, meaning that something (or things) totally off the map was going on on the bridges and in CICs on McCain and Fitzgerald.

            Responsibility for that flows all the way up through the operational commands and when there’s a pattern like this, yes, it lands on the President’s desk.

            We can all speculate that there was a general lowering of attention to operational effectiveness, situational awareness, probably, in these cases, but at this point we really are into speculation. Whatever went wrong was BAD, all up and down the chain of command and will require personnel changes on the same scale.

            Thank GOD we got Obama out of there. None of the rest could be effectively dealt with were he still in office.

          • Very Stable Genius

            When sailors are working 80-100 hour weeks for long periods of time. The law of diminishing returns comes into play. We get less excellence from people when we spread them this thin.

          • pikeman

            Not directly, but indirectly. Obama was a wimp. His wimpiness permeated the entire US. It allowed small time rogues like Assad to run riot. No one takes USA seriously anymore. You need someone like Reagan.

        • GMBurns

          Just like in the case of 9-11, the people who did wrong (intentionally or not intentionally) were put in place during the previous administration. Barring hacking of the radar or command computers (already denied by the Navy) I see three of these incidents as inexplicable, although the fourth is also unforgivable. The simplest solution would be a radar tech (or ship’s officer) who was either not at his post at all, who was utterly unqualified, or was treasonous.
          None of these can be ruled out by the information thus far made public.
          And personnel policies imposed by the previous administration have chased out many qualified and experienced personnel (for not appreciating transexual crew members or Dreamers, for instance) while encouraging ‘hiring’ and promotion of non-traditional personnel. Affirmative action is a bad policy, even if it were in favor of white males.
          Naturally, I hope that no such thing played a role here, but remember Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and Bradley Manning. I say ‘Bradley’, because there was no ‘Chelsea Manning’ to remember when the act of treason was committed.

          • Duane

            The President does not formulate military officer promotion policies. Naval promotion boards determine which officers are promoted, or not. Flag rank requires Senate confirmation.

          • bahmi

            That’s right! Lindsay Graham gets to decide which red blooded men get to be Admirals.

          • bahmi

            ABSOLUTELY do not believe these collisions were a result of sloppy devotion to duty. No way. The Navy has great tradition and strict adherence to protocols. I cannot believe they were sloppy over and over and over….no way. This reminds me of the so-called killing of bin Laden by the special services troops who were mysteriously killed while on the helicopter. That was no accident, that was a lie meant to pretend it was the truth. It was meant to perpetrate the disappearance of Tim Osman, our right hand man in al Qaeda. So what if the military killed a number of their own? They do it all the time and still sappy young people enlist in the military. How pathetic is that?

          • Rocco

            Ridiculous

          • GMBurns

            Well, I joined when I was just about to turn thirty. And I knew full well that I had given them authorization to expend my life as they saw fit, bound only by the Constitution.
            I think most people who go into the military realize they will be valued at times, maybe almost all the time, but at need required to give their lives. Colonel Chamberlain, holding Little Round Top at Gettysburg with the 2nd Maine Regiment (a couple hundred men) saw a large gap develop in his line, and sent his younger brother to fill it by himself.
            Oh, and the guys who killed Bin Laden survived that op, and I believe most are still around.

        • BDnSC

          What part of “appointed service secretaries grossly unqualified” do you fail to understand? Obviously you failed all levels of logic and consequential thinking at what ever schools you attended! Your own ignorance is your worst enemy Duane. And you voluntarily showed it to the world!

          • Duane

            I don’t understand at all how service secretaries issue helm orders to our ship.

            You do know, of course, that all appointments of officers are done by promotion boards consisting of other naval officers, with flag ranks requiring confirmation by the Senate. Presidents and SecNavs don’t decide who to promote or fire.

          • cvr527

            They do however establish the policies and precedents. Also, Presidents can and do fire Officers.

          • Duane

            Actually, no, they don’t except on only the very big picture things that the President can control.

            Most of what controls our military is set forth by law and regulation that is subject to law. Meaning, Congress exerts most of the control of most stuff that the military does. Always has, always will.

          • john

            You are demonstrating your short memory ( I m bring charitable here) You forget the fight between Macarthur and Truman, and who won that one.

          • Duane

            MacArthur stated his intention to start a nuclear war in China and North Korea. Truman told him “no”. MacArther said no back. Truman fired MacArthur.

            Precisely the kind of “big stuff” that Presidents decide, and generals don’t decide.

            They weren’t arguing over command of the helm on a naval ship.

          • pikeman

            And …..history will prove that MacArthur was right after all

          • Duane

            Yeah, because history teaches us that the US Constitution is all fouled up on that civilian control of the military thing .. and because history teaches us that nuclear war is cool.

          • pikeman

            Georges Clemenceau
            La guerre! C’est une chose trop grave pour la confier à des militaires.
            War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men.

          • Rocco

            Old timer give it up!!

          • Rocco

            Ucmj!!

          • john

            I refer you to LBJ, Robert Strange McNamara, and the bad influence they had on the military that still reverberates today. They did indeed give direct orders down to the tactical level, and only led to screw-ups because they had no idea what they were doing.

          • BDnSC

            Your statement is at least partially correct. “You don;t understand” is spot on!
            As for the rest of your thought, I stand by my original statement, ‘you failed all levels of logic and consequential thinking.”

          • Duane

            Show me your evidence.

            You can’t because there isn’t any.

          • BDnSC

            Ahhhh….nice use of the edit link duane…
            Noting like fixing your screw up after it’s been pointed out to you!
            But you’re wrong again……one need only to read your words to see that I am 100% accurate…..and you still, “don;t understand” !!! LMAO!

        • roner

          lol!! for six months!! LOL!!

        • MichaelH1836

          You’re right of course, but I can’t ‘suss’ what’s caused the problems. The rules of the road are explicit and all-encompassing. I served as a QM1 aboard underway vessels and collisions can only occur if someone on the bridge isn’t doing their job or someone is deliberately bent on causing a problem.
          Firing an admiral or two, or blaming the president makes NO real sense.

          • Just Observing

            I definitely agree with you. Someone on the bridge was definitely not doing their job. But, as a retired Captain, I understand and appreciate the ultimate accountability and responsibility for training and qualifying the crew remains with the Commanding Officer.
            Now that the Pacific Fleet has had a series of collisions involving loss of life, a grounding and other problems over the past months, that same accountability has resulted in removal of the 7th Fleet Commander, his subordinate CTF 70 Commander, and the DESRON 15 Commander whose ships have continued to experience mishaps.
            As you know, the proverbial “sweat pumps” are now at maximum, retraining and drilling of bridge watch personnel, lookouts, and CIC watch teams is underway, and those Captains who used to get five hours of sleep each day underway, are now getting less.
            I don’t imagine it’s much fun serving as a watchstander in 7th Fleet these days.

          • Duane

            Yessir. I would imagine that the CO of every single ship in the Navy has been carefully reviewing his ship’s training plan and records. And increasing his ship’s drills, and triple checking every OOD’s readiness since at least the McCain collision. Or he’s a dolt just waiting to be relieved.

            And as we always said in the service, the stuff always rolls downhill!

          • john

            Wow! A word of common sense coming from an enlisted man!!! I trust you more than I do an 0.

          • Rocco

            Not in agreement to a point!! As I said above 4 major incidents occuring in a yrs time with death & injuries is just not coincidental!!

          • m a

            It will be interesting to see how undermanned the relevant watch sections on the bridge and combat teams were due to folks unable to deploy for ‘naturally occurring medical conditions’. What’s the planned watch rotation and what were the positions actually doing; designed for 1 in 5 and operating 1 in 3 or 1 in 2 for some?
            The folks selling ‘minimal manning’ on these ships as justification for funding, (which make non-deploying personnel even more critical) and the change in Junior Officer training to more OJT vice formal school may be part of the answer. Chronically tired people make bad decisions.

          • DelmarJackson

            What if the lookouts were all incompetent or drug users and non white and the officers were afraid to discipline the men to avoid being labeled as racist and destroying their career? I am not saying that is what happened. I am saying I served in the US Merchant Marine and find almost no other scenario plausible for 3 US naval vessels to collide with other vessels in one year. The rules of the road are not rocket science. I can understand how erratic fishing vessels can be and find some excuse for hitting one but not larger commercial vessels in open sea. Until proven otherwise I stand by my theory.

          • Rocco

            What theory!!

          • pikeman

            Adm Hyman Rickover
            Quote
            “The man in charge must concern himself with details. If he does not consider them important, neither will his subordinates. Yet “the devil is in the details.” It is hard and monotonous to pay attention to seemingly minor matters. In my work, I probably spend about ninety-nine percent of my time on what others may call petty details. Most managers would rather focus on lofty policy matters. But when the details are ignored, the project fails. No infusion of policy or lofty ideals can then correct the situation.”
            Unquote

          • While what you say is true, the tone and discipline for every command is set by officers farther up the chain, ultimately by the President himself.

            Sure, most presidents would have no significant effect on readiness but Obama is said to have ended the careers of over 1000 senior officers for political reasons. If that’s true, he absolutely DID change the climate in the fleet because the Captains and Commanders were watching who was getting retired early and who got the promotions and most of them would have bent accordingly.

            Once the commanders decide that having the right attitude about transgenders aboard ship is what matters, most DD size ships are going to be incompetently commanded within a couple of years, and — PERHAPS — that’s where we are now.

            You knew who the foul balls were on your watches and the ones that
            were working for you — you checked up on them so they didn’t screw
            up. Had you been the type to just go with the political flow, treat
            the TGs (or whatever) nicely, you’d have seen the results.

            All the purest speculation on my part, of course, but if it’s true that in Obama’s time flag rank depended on politics then in eight years I have no trouble seeing collision size loss of discipline and basic attention to duty right down onto the bridge of the DDs.

        • carl6352

          obama 8 years and trump 7 months! you get the picture? probably not!

          • Duane

            How many helm orders did Obama issue during those 8 years?

            How many helm orders has Trump issued during his 7 months?

            None and none.

            We may as well blame Presidents for traffic accidents, heart disease, world famine, and the price of cheese.

            Sorry, Presidents in our constitutional order are extremely uninvolved in driving ships. Or the price of cheese.

          • Rocco

            And now we have to worry about historical monuments to be torn down!!

        • john

          Yes, and no, Duane. In fact there have been times when the President and his cabinet have directly interfered operationally, and the results have always been less than positive. In these cases, though, I think you are right. That is why an admiral and a captain were canned. Their firing probably has little bearing on what happened. There is indeed a problem, no doubt about it.

          • Duane

            There is no evidence of Presidents or service secretaries issuing helm orders on ships. Or determining who is on the watch bill on ships. Or in determining the training status of officers and crew on ships. None, zip, nada.

            That some Presidents tended to micromanage certain aspects of warfighting is undeniable. But I guarantee you that Lyndon Johnson, himself a former naval officer in WW Two, and known for getting involved in determining bombing targets in the Vietnam War never set the watch bill, or determined how many drills of what type a ship CO must use to prepare his crew to simply navigate. Sorry, that’s just flat out ridiculous to assert that.

            There is clearly a failure in command. The Navy has identified at least a few of those responsible, though there will be more heads to roll when the full investigations are completed and signed off. The heads rolled to date only represent those whom the Navy command has declared “no longer have our confidence to command”.

            But unfortunately, all the usual angry old men, ranters and ravers, and all those with their individual pet peeves in life are furiously grinding all their little axes using the recent shiphandling incidents as their nominal excuse to grind their little axes.

            Pathetic.

            Naval officers command ships, issue orders, train and select their subordinates, and are 98% of any problem with command. The other 2% goes up maybe one or two levels higher. There is no “lack of funding” or “too much PC” that causes a commander to be a bad commander. It is the bad commander’s fault, and there is at least a little fault for those who promoted or appointed the bad commander. Everything else is just noisy BS.

        • Rocco

          Kudos

        • muzzleloader

          Duanne, you are so predictable. Arrogant, condescending and totally dismissive and insulting of anyone who has an opinion that differs from yours. If you cannot see a correlation of the last 8 years and the degradation of our armed forces that so many of us see, then you truly are clueless.

          • Rocco

            He does he served in them!!

          • Duane

            Just stating the facts. Only people with political axes to grind try to turn everything in life into a partisan political argument. That really annoys the heck out of the 70-80% of Americans who don’t see everything through red or blue glasses as you apparently do. If you think it is an insult for someone to point out the obvious facts, then you must be one of those poor dears always looking for a “safe space” where nobody who has any different opinion is assaulting your tender parts by merely not nodding yes at every inane, irrelevant rant you make.

          • muzzleloader

            Yeah right, so the 36 agrees I got with my post were idiots too, eh? And the others who posted my sentiments were idiots alongside me? The only safe space is between your ears, pal. Good grief, your arrogance. It must have really been a joy to have served along side, or under you. (Sarcasm intended)

          • Duane

            Musta been “seminar day” at Townhall, or Info Wars … way more comments than on any typical USNI post. The wackos came out to play on USNI.

          • muzzleloader

            Wackos, eh? There you go again.

          • Duane

            Not clueless to not see something that does not exist.

        • billyrumble

          Yes, Trump is in charge, and he’s doing something about the problem as opposed to the previous bozo who did nothing for 8 years.

          • Duane

            And what has Trump been doing to solve the seamanship problem in Japan-based surface ships, exactly?

            I don’t seem to recall even a single tweet, let alone an executive action.

            Maybe, just maybe, it’s because that’s not his job.

        • York

          He was…. but let’s be honest, he hasn’t done anything to the Navy since taking office it has been functioning today as it did under Obama so if you want to blame a Presidents for the Navy’s problems Obama has more stink on it than Trump… Frankly in this instance I suspect that neither of these two are as culpable as the officers on duty when the events happened. This is all for show to make it look like something has changed but the reality is the same system that saw these two guy move up in the command is still in place and will be making the same decisions and hence the same promotions that got these two where they were.

          Frankly the more appropriate action would have been to give a dishonorable discharge to everyone on the bridge of the ships that were involved in accidents, because those crew members were the ones that made mistakes that resulted in loss of life and destruction of significant equipment.

          • Duane

            So then if Presidents really do determine who gets promoted at the mid-grade officer level … and really does approve the watch bills of each and every one of our 277 ships … and does in fact ensure that all watchstanders remain fully untrained on everything about their jobs except for learning how to deal with transgenders … and Trump “hasn’t done anything to the Navy since taking office”, then clearly Trump is negligent, is totally irresponsible, and must be immediately removed from office under the 25th Amendment for being incompetent at fulfilling the responsibilities of the office of POTUS.

            See how ridiculous this entire thread has become, mostly because it’s been hijacked by a bunch of right wingers in a coordinated trolling attack on USNI, probably sent here by Townhall or Info Wars or some other such right winger site.

      • ChuckCVG

        Muzzleloader you are WAY out of line – reel it in please.

        • roner

          belay that!

          • Rocco

            Agreed

        • cvr527

          Since when did telling the truth become “way out of line” ? You are out of line for trying to suppress the truth.

      • John Locke

        “appointed service secretaries grossly unqualified” is an opinion, not fact.

        If you want to make a claim with merit then post the requirements for service secretary (e.g. age, education, citizenship etc..) then illustrate where the appointees didn’t meet them.

        • BDnSC

          Re read the article and note the dates of service and promotions yourself. The speak for themselves and correspond accordingly to my comment.
          And to be clear, your education is in no way a priority for me, Educate yourself.

      • Big Game Hunter

        He** ya!

      • Rocco

        Agreed

      • Very Stable Genius

        You used a lot of words to say nothing that matters. Your opinion is noted. Take care.

    • GMBurns

      I am afraid that at this point we can’t know whether Obama decisions or Obama-promoted officers were a factor. I am not saying it is so, but remember Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs. Four important Navy vessels precisely from the command that the North Korean-Chinese-Russian axis would have known would be vital these days.

    • Falcon 78

      Try again. Obama appointed Mabus.

    • Patriot 1232

      Obama pushed out qualified command staff and replaced them with a bunch of arse-kissing yes men.

      IMHO of course

    • carl6352

      during the 8 years of obama the military faced a record amount of early retirement for officers in all branchs. which leaves toadies and political hacks! all left are a dfisgrace to the uniform and oaths!

      • john

        I never would have made it as far as I did without the unwavering support of my wife. She got tired of me being gone so much towards the end, and it was that decision on her part that led to my retirement.

      • veritasycandor

        Good Lord Carl. Absolutism on such matters is silly. According to your position, General Mattis should have been sacked by Trump. There are a lot of Obama toadies who are a disgrace and who need to go – but “all left?” Come on man. And it’s possible that these men are being sacrificed unless and until we know whether their nav systems were hacked.

        • carl6352

          Under obama career officers asked for early retirement at a record pace. Most saw the disorder in the ranks caused by his social edicts and decrease in funding! While others stayed and never spoke up about! My father was a Air Force major he would have asked for early retirement if he saw what was going on! He loved the service and as a kid I saw the world but the disorder would have angered him!

    • Of course not. He put it on steroids. This IS ALL related to GHW and 11/22/63.

    • veritasycandor

      Agreed. Most of the toadies are sitting behind desks at the Pentagon, probably not on ships or in war zones.

    • Pole_cat

      Yeah, right. Just like Lois Lerner weaponized the IRS and turned IT against US. THAT wasn’t Obama’s fault either, was it?

  • cappelletti63

    Trump should look at the list of generals, admirals and commanders that Obama fired.. Those are the ones we want.. Not the ones he kept..

    • John Locke

      Please, that has been debunked profusely.

      • Gator

        Care to cite that?

      • gmm777

        Ya know John, you keep saying that but offer no locations to verify this “debunking “. How about it?

        • SJMWilco

          johnny doesn’t understand the difference between ‘debunking’ and ‘denial’

          • John Locke

            how so?

          • SJMWilco

            you have been repeatedly asked to cite your ‘debunking’ evidence. you seem unable to do so. it would seem that this evidence is all in your head, ergo, denial.

          • John Locke

            just having a little trouble getting USNI to post the links. It would seem you are prone to making assumptions.

  • This was caused much higher than these men.
    It started with the ending of SWO school, and the general reduction of training for junior officers.

  • Winslow

    Now that was GREAT!

  • GMC/USN

    Yep. You wear a brick around your neck while on watch (bridge and look outs). Obviously nobody thought to use them.

    • NoonianAtall

      Sorry, but can you explain what that means for us non-naval folks?

      • teezelkitty

        Think about it!

        • NoonianAtall

          I did, and then googled for it (which found absolutely nothing relevant). I thought of some possibilities, but not having served on a ship, they are only uninformed, wild guesses. That’s why I asked. You could have just explained. Think about it.

  • Duane

    Time to remove all stupid political comments from the pages of USNI.

  • ricardoh

    I was in the Army and not the Navy but I have been on the deck of an aircraft carrier at sea. I have seen the alertness of the whole crew on deck which makes these accidents inexcusable.

  • Gator

    This children, is a bot. Look at it’s nonsensical replies in it’s disqus history

    Every comment
    I make
    is three lines

  • Freedom?

    LOL.

    Most all these “warriors” today are cry babies that want to “see through the enemies eyes” and it’s no better than SJWs.

    • john

      Your perspective is pretty ignorant. I suggest you broaden your reading list. May I suggest Von Clausewitz and Sun Tsu to start with? Maybe you have heard of them?

      • konc2

        He hasn’t heard of chit, the only combat this rube has ever been in, would be a food fight, in some snowflake university.

      • Freedom?

        I’ve FORGOTTEN more about tactics and strategy than you’ll ever learn boy.

        • Refguy

          Senility setting in?

          • Freedom?

            I don’t know, is it?

  • scarlet pimpernel

    Kill the enemy & protect the homeland; all & prepare for the mission. Time to stop wasting time on matters that are superfluousness to the mission. Political generals & admirals need to be fired immediately & new programs instituted. We owe this to all the military people that are risking their lives for their fellow citizens back in the homeland.

  • Joe Contana

    Hopefully, enough good officers stayed in, kept their mouth shut and did the best they could, became flag officers, and now are in a position to lead the US Navy back to greatness. I believe enough are still in. I know at least one. It will take years, though, if it happens at all.

  • Brenda Chan

    What happened to the ‘Look Outs’? if the ship was hacked the Look Outs would have seen that the ship was headed for an accident. This Admiral had to have been involved and accountable for this tragedy .

    • GMC/USN

      The lookouts failed, the OOD and JOOD failed (the bridge has windows) and the CIC watch team failed. Any one of them could have prevented these accidents.

    • Tecumseh1768

      So his “penalty” will be a very comfortable taxpayer funded retirement…..EARLY no less.

  • CharleyA

    Yea, this is getting bigger.

  • GMBurns

    I applaud the Navy for doing this. The principle that the man in charge is responsible is vital to keeping forces functioning well.
    I hope though, that the Navy is also concentrating on finding out in detail precisely what happened in each case. It would be even more of a relief to me and many of the concerned public to know that in addition to command being held to their ultimate responsibility, the specific causes of each problem were accurately identified and solved. If the Navy can do so while maintaining security, the public would like to know too what happened too. I know you love it, but it’s our Navy too.

  • Tecumseh1768

    Texting while driving.

  • Falcon 78

    I’ll place a small wager that the sailors of those ships involved in the incidents (along with all the other ships) spent at least as many hours in sexual assault/harassment training then they did in basic warfare/seamanship skills refresher training once at their assignments. The posters hanging on unit bulletin boards will be more about ‘preventing sexual assault’ and who is your Area Defense Council then warfighting skills. The ‘official emails’ and correspondence from the Navy and chain of command will be just as much about sexual assault prevention, suicide training, and ‘diversity’ training, then ship driving or warfighting skills. This is what your PC military is ‘buying’ you.

  • MLepay

    From reading many posts, to try and dumb down an answer to it is President Obama’s fault or it is all about social engineering of some sort, when we will most likely find there was a series of potentially complex events that lead to the collisions, is kind of ridiculous and I think pretty disingenuous and insulting to those working their tails off in the fleet as we type.

    • MACHGLOBAL

      Having 4 incidents within that time period is not coincidental.

      Yes, there are many in the Armed Forces that are totally dedicated to their jobs and excellence. Under Trump and Mattis, both these commanders should have asked for reassignment many lives ago. People know when their in over their heads and faking it with the lives of others is not leadership.

    • Daniel Haney

      So, taking training TADTAR funds from the fleet training center for training seamanship and replacing that vital training with “diversity training” or “sexual harassment training” or “Inclusiveness training” ad nausium is NOT social engineering???

      I got sick and tired of doing these useless trainings while valuable time and resources were being wasted that could have been used for MILITARY training.

      It isn’t those “working their butts off” fault.
      It is a much higher pay grades issue.
      Unfortunately, those who have the least say in how things are done or what training is done, bear the brunt of the consequences for those decisions.

  • MACHGLOBAL

    Degree in Naval architecture ? Degree in History for the other ?

    Where are the grads for strategic military planning ? Command, Comms and Control ? Combat Leadership ? Management and Organizational Control ? These are lightweight Obama appointed officers that have little knowledge of running battleships

    • teezelkitty

      But I’ll bet they can run in high heels!

  • Nostrildamus

    Wow, four incidents this year?

    I had no idea there were this many.

    • John Locke

      Actually there have been years where there were many more

  • SJMWilco

    time to rebuild our armed services after 8 years of obungles the clown attempting to conduct social experiments with our fighting forces

  • GMBurns

    That is very true. See John Stuart Mill’s ‘On Liberty’.

  • Duane

    Politics in a military blog is stupid.

    Go to FoxNews or TownHall or Huff Post or whatever other political rag if you want to live in your personal political bubble.

    Partisan politics has no place on the bridge of a ship. Literally, not just figuratively.

    • cvr527

      Exactly so, and that is why the PC leadership put in place under Obama are so dangerous, Their politics drive their thought process. This was clearly demonstrated when the CNO stated before the Congress that climate change is the greatest threat facing the Navy. He in effect told all of our potential enemies that he is incapable of accurately assessing the threats facing our Navy.

    • john

      It does not belong there, but it has great deal of influence on who gets there. We are agreed that it should not matter.

  • cavedave

    Whatever the reason and whomever is to blame, the truly sad part is the tragic loss of life due to these incidents. While a through and honest investagation will hopefully correct the issues which caused these tragedies, it is a bit early to begin finger pointing. I had always felt that no matter what weapons and tactics a potential enemy might employ, the training and professionalism of our sailors would provide the winning edge…not so sure now.

  • roner

    Exactly – there are multiple people watching out at all times while a ship is underway, especially in a heavy shipping area. Eyes – not electronics! The problem we will probably find here is that the officers and the men who were supposed to be watching were playing with their f’ing phones or video games!!

    • GMBurns

      Or maybe weren’t even on our side.

  • carbedout

    It would be interesting to follow these two senior officers careers to see if they are pressured to retire, then just prior to being retired, they get promoted to the next rank to bump their retirement pay and their bragging rights. I know from personal experience, had there been an enlisted person to blame and take the fall, we wouldn’t be hearing about these two guys at all.

    • MACHGLOBAL

      Usually they become in charge of a mess hall or head up an admin unit until they retire.

  • MACHGLOBAL

    There is initial and preliminary information that many of the key people on these ships were not certified within their jobs or assignments and jobs were not parallel to test scores.

    Other “social personnel factors” were more important than testing. Cutting through that bit of PC nonsense, we have a clue.

  • GMBurns

    I was going to downvote your post, but I relented because on second thought because exaggeration is appropriate for satire.

  • gmm777

    As for me, I’d like to hear from whoever was on watch at the time of the collisions. That is where the answer lies.

    • Denmark002

      What they would find and we will not find out… is/or they saw nothing on their radars. 4 of the same type ships all having nav probs? coincidence? maybe some type of cyber attack? possibly… probably time to get back to putting up a 2 man watch team with power binos until we find what really happened. And, I do not find it plausible to blame training… it is all centered around the Pacific outer rim and we are shaking the cage of NoKo and China.

    • teezelkitty

      Too busy reading their primers on rules for trannies?

  • jdp

    jdp…In both ship collisions its not fully known if counter warfare was used to disable these ships, no reports have been posted as to what the watchmen or radar men saw, so the firing of the leadership is premature at best if all electronics was lost comm would be nearly impossible, I think more time and investigation is warranted, its so easy to blame leadership, unless there is some other reason to fire these leaders its a wrong just to take action without fully knowing the whole situation. If it was counter warfare what means did the crew have in defending itself?

  • carl6352

    in the navy, the captain bares the blame. just like captain mcvay of the uss indianapolis or captain bucher of the uss pueblo! the adage the captain goes down with the ship rings true! but don’t cry evita both applied for early retirement meaning they will still get retirement pay!

  • john

    Consider the climate of intolerance for errors. Consider that all of the Naval Officers that made enormous screw-ups early in their careers and went on to be senior officer warriors and leaders, and winners. Not good thinking on the part of the Brass to leap to conviction even before all of the investigation is completed.

    • AFAIK no disciplinary action has yet been reported. A number of officers and (mostly senior) enlisted have been transferred due to loss of confidence and now we hear that a couple (more?) have been allowed to retire early. It’s entirely plausible that the investigations are finishing up and courts-martial are in progress for those actually culpable. No pre-collision info or disciplinary action should be reported until the whole works is wrapped up because if it is, the pool of people to serve on those courts would be tainted.

      People keep saying ‘cover up’ but there’s no evidence for that yet. What we’ve seen so far is consistent with doing a truly nasty job (17 men dead …) correctly.

    • Refguy

      When an ensign or jg screws up, it’s a learning experience and he can be counseled by his leading chief or the CO. When a senior officer screws up, he can’t use immaturity or lack of experience as an excuse.

  • John Locke

    Time to introduce facts into the dialogue.

    • Social Intent is the triumph of ideas over facts. Social justice displaces discrete facts with overall ignorance. When Progressives are not bitter, angry and mean they are petty, small, puerile, ind incompetent.

  • Daniel Haney

    I see all of that “diversity” training is paying off big time……

  • Big Game Hunter

    About time!!Costing Tax Payers up the pooper!

  • Chainsaw McGerk

    There are only (2) places where a Naveee skipper is not responsible for damage to his vessel – in the Panama Canal and in a dry dock with at least one line attached. Anywhere else, it’s on him.

    • john

      You are being obnoxious in your misuse of the spelling . It is NAVY.

  • Matthew Murphy

    I understand that officers don’t receive as much training on actual seamanship as they had. Too much reliance on tech. If that is the case blame the Dept. of the Navy.

  • Chainsaw McGerk

    Hit broadside while being the “burdened vessel” by a 30,000 ton container ship?
    LMAO
    The Naveeee

  • Rogue Cheddar

    I hope that good Navy men do not get swept up with all the finger pointing. Whatever needs fixing, then fix it, but don’t destroy what doesn’t need destruction.

  • M113Driver

    These collisions sound more like a cyber attack

    • crismahn

      How do you “cyber attack” a competent lookout whose only tools are binoculars and sound-powered phones?

      • M113Driver

        not true. they’re were strictly relying on radar on both ships at the time

  • docdave88

    Wow. So there IS a level of stupidity that will not be tolerated. I was beginning to wonder.

    Here we have a naval warship designed to stop a telephone pole incoming at Mach 2+ and it can’t get out of the way of a ship the size of an office building moving at 15 miles per hour.

    B. Hussein’s attempt to remake the military from a force to kill people and break things into a test tube for idiotic social experiments worked.

    • john

      By any chance are your initials DVN? I suggest that using the military as a testbed for social engineering goes back further than Obama. Would you like examples?

      • teezelkitty

        Not to this degree!

      • docdave88

        No on the initials.

        Yes on the examples as long as you don’t use that tired old chestnut about integration.

  • trumpbot

    WTF are you talking about ship bird?! 44 was two term wartime CIC who did a damn good job! Git bin laden. But your ignorance will not let you see clear. Trump is a clown that has Constantly attack our Military & our Vets… including McCain. Get Educated

  • Tom

    Maybe we could get McCain to weigh in deadly mishaps on ships

  • Jim Petersen

    Nailed it lmao

  • Emil Carstens

    Which ones were appointed by former SecNav Mabus?

  • poster1234567890209

    All Obama trannies must go

  • Jay

    It should never have gotten this bad. Where is the pride? Where is the professionalism? Where is the preparation for war that defeats enemies and saves sailor’s lives when the balloon goes up? Being military during a period of extended peace is a challenge to character. These officers, and I can assure you they are not the only ones, have failed that challenge.

  • tjb357452

    There were casualties in both incidents, and we’ll never hear what, or who, was directly responsible. These incidents were spaced apart by enough time to correct whatever issues caused the first failing. Heads should roll.

  • Rich B ✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

    C’mon, how can this admiral be responsible for the actions of the USS John McCain??? everybody knows McCain is a maverick!!!

  • Rocco

    Look in the mirror liberal

  • crismahn

    Several posters have made the point that it makes little sense to blame the president for the issues facing the NAVY WRT the recent spate of fatal underway collisions. I would argue that it does make sense if those Presidents and their liberal-progressive, ideologically like-minded appointees are forcing officers aboard ships to be so busy training their “unit members” in the finer points of gender sensitivity inclusiveness, diversity and avoiding hetero-normative white-privilege microaggressions that there is little time leftover to train them to be competent underway sailors. Today’s sailors standing lookout watches, if there are any standing lookout watches, don’t seem to be able to see or identify a freighter much less be able to tell whether the vessel is closing or opening. But they very likely are able to properly and smartly fill-in a request chit for a gender-transformation operation.

    • Rocco

      Hahaha !!! You were 1st in line???

    • Duane

      If that is the case, does that also mean, in keeping with what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, that we can blame all accidents and deaths that occured in the US military in the 8 years after Bush 43 left office on him?

      After all, we lost more KIA in Afghanistan in the Obama years than we did in the Bush years. Why? Because, well, mostly because of Bush.

      Most military supporters back in the mid to late 2000s complained that Bush had over-used the military, running them all ragged in two pointless wars that only managed to achieve getting about 7,000 of them killed and more’n a hundred thousand of them maimed, only to achieve what, exactly? Reenlistments tumbled under Bush 43 and Obama’s first term, lots of very fine warriors got out of the reserves and the guard, because they simply couldn’t see the point of getting maimed or killed on behalf of Iraqi and Afghan brothers in arms who in an instant would turn their guns in blue on green attacks.

      It’s all a stupid exercise in partisan wanking, self stimulation that some people get off on but actually their stupidity turns off 70 to 80% of the voters, and either turns off or is ignored by nearly all military members on duty around the world.

      I served under Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter during the 70s. You don’t think there wasn’t vast amounts of political BS dominating the political airwaves in those days? We only managed to see our RVN ally lose a war we lost 58 thousand KIA in, had a President resign over Watergate, and the guy who pardoned him got defeated in election. Each was our Commander in Chief from two different parties, and nothing ever changed for us.

      I and my shipmates, deployed on a SSN chasing Rooskies alll over the Pacific Ocean and other places I cannot name, basically awaiting the order that would mean our entire homeland was probably already turned to burning embers… never ever ever one single time did any of us discuss partisan politics on board ship, not ever.

      We had far more important matters to deal with.

      I’ll bet that most of the ranters here on this comment thread never ever spent a single day at sea in uniform on a US warship, steaming in harm’s way..

      • Rocco

        Kudos we served under the same POTUS finished with Regan!!

      • crismahn

        “I’ll bet that most of the ranters here on this comment thread never ever spent a single day at sea in uniform on a US warship, steaming in harm’s way.” LOL! Well this “ranter” has. I spent the better part of 6 years serving aboard a couple of old Fram II Gearing Class tin-cans home-ported out of Yokosuka during the early-mid seventies. Most of that time was underway. And I can definitely recognize a problem with basic seamanship skills when I see one.

        • Rocco

          Agreed

        • Duane

          So do I. And I can tell the difference between reasoned discussion of seamanship and political ranters hijacking a military discussion thread so they can grind their silly little axes.

          Stick to the former and there is reasoned discussion to be had. The latter tiresome partisan wanking, no value to be had there.

          • crismahn

            You’re the only one around here doing any ranting. Go take a chill pill. The problem is a lack of basic seaman ship skills. Plain and simple.

          • Duane

            The latter is my point, along with the fact that political commentary has no place in basic seaman skills. Plain and simple.

    • KenPrescott

      Arguably, the Navy began losing its way in the 1990s with the end of the Cold War.

      The mandatory annual training focuses on stopping things that make the military look bad, the things that need to be dealt with through the UCMJ and Staff Judge Advocate. We’ve waived warfare qualifications and re-certification, but we haven’t waived the plethora of CBTs that basically say, “don’t engage in criminal behavior.” Ignorance of the law is no excuse at Mast or a court martial, so the only real reason for this particular flavor of GMT is to check off the box for testimony before Congress.

      We restrict the entire crew to the ship after an ARI as opposed to taking a stripe and some pay from the few miscreants.

      We’ve made it plain to one and all that the purpose of the Navy is not to be ready to fight and win wars, but to ensure the four-stars don’t look bad in front of Congress.

  • klesb

    All this “accountability” is nice, but why did the destroyers not avoid the collisions?

    • Rocco

      Good question!!

    • Bisley

      With all the radar, sonar, and other things that should have detected, and alerted whoever was on duty to, the presence of another ship long before a collision, and the part of the world these collisions took place in, some sort of electronic interference, or computer hacking would seem likely — unless the people responsible for monitoring these things were not where they should have been. If there was some sort of interference with computer systems, they would never admit it publicly — it’s easier and cleaner to hang the blame on someone, and fire them. Maybe these officers were incompetent, and had some responsibility for what happened, but we’ll never know what happened. The Chinese might know, but they won’t tell either.

      • crismahn

        Forget the sonar, radar. Live-body lookouts with binoculars and sound-powered phones are also supposed to be keeping watch. Even if the ship completely loses all power there is no way to hack or cyber attack a competently trained lookout whose only tools are binoculars and sound-powered phones. No, I am afraid the problem is lies with the lack of basic underway hands-on eyeballs-on seamanship skills into today’s gender-friendly NAVY. Too busy diddling each other.

        • Chris King

          one crash took place dead of night in 50ft visibility fog and the approaching “merchant” ship didn’t have running lights on. human vision isn’t going to help.

          • KenPrescott

            No, the weather was CAVU, and the moon was providing 58% illumination.

            That is WAY more than enough light to see WTF is going on.

          • Chris King

            you’re talking about the mccain crash, and I am talking about the first one, I think.

  • Ralph Parnanen

    America’s at war and doesn’t care

  • Ankle Biter

    were they in transition?

  • crismahn

    It has been suggested by some that too much underway time and deployed time is responsible for this apparent lack of basic seamanship skills evident in today’s glorious gender-inclusive NAVY. But if crews were spending too much time under way and deployed would that not tend to enhance their basic seamanship skills? Hone them to razor sharpness?

    • KenPrescott

      In theory, you would think so. In practice, you can only expect what you inspect. Everyone will start taking shortcuts, and then those shortcuts become “how we do it,” and then people will start taking shortcuts across the shortcuts, et cetera.

      You have to bring everyone back in for rest and REFTRA to identify where they started cutting corners and resynchronize them to The One True Navy Way.

  • bahmi

    The collisions were induced, not random examples of lousy steerage. Did the Russians jam our radar and make it impossible to detect the merchant men? Like, makes us an offer we can’t refuse? These collisions occurred far too close in time, something is rotten in Denmark.

    • crismahn

      You haven’t the vaguest idea what you are talking about. There were also live-body lookouts whose only tools are binoculars and sound powered phones. If they are half-way competent and paying the slightest bit of attention they are supposed to be able to identify ships, tell whether the ship is opening or closing, all without breaking a sweat. There is zero way to “jam” a live-body lookout who is only using binoculars and sound-powered phones. Even if the ship loses all power a lookout’s eyeballs and sound-powered phones will still work. The issue isn’t an attack by some imaginary Ruskie or Red Chinese bogey-man. The problem is with woefully lagging underway seamanship skills in today’s gender-inclusive and technology-over-reliant Navy. Work it may but use PC gender-neutral pronouns it must.

      • AND — Modern combatants have four (I think?) radars, at least a couple of which would be first rate on surface contacts, PLUS access to automated data transmissions from merchants, plus computers to add an extra set of eyes. AND — Jamming that you can’t detect is impossible — usually it would be close to a flashing red warning “YOU ARE BEING JAMMED!” Anything like that should have triggered “Captain to the bridge … Sound General Quarters.”

        Something totally wrong was going on, on those bridges and in CIC.

        I’m not particularly inclined to blame ‘skills’ because skills are the CO’s responsibility. If he had an OOD and a CIC watch officer whose skills were weak then that officer should not have been in that watch except in ‘under instruction’ or JUNIOR officer of the deck/CIC watch officer status.

        The fact that the CO permitted inappropriate watchstanding is on him and on the more senior officers who have been relieved for ‘lack of confidence.’

  • bahmi

    These high ranking officers were asked, not nicely, to fall on their swords. And, it was either this or a Captain’s Mast procedure to separate them from the Navy. They were given an offer they couldn’t refuse. Either this or the gulag……

  • steved21

    Ain’t that a kick in the head. His incompetent leadership led to death of American sailors. Let’s let him retire with full pension. Yeah – that’ll teach him!

  • Smitty Werben Jaegerman Jansen

    A reverse purge starting? I hope.

    • Bisley

      More likely scapegoats to get this out of the news and bury it, before too many uncomfortable questions are asked.

      • Well, perhaps, but more likely it’s just what it says it is: Loss of confidence in those senior officers.

        What should be going on now BUT NOT IN THE NEWS is finishing up the investigation of the events leading up to the collisions and courts-martial for the responsible parties. Until all that gets done and the results are approved by higher commands those facts need to be kept hidden from the public because the various people involved deserve fair courts.

        Same deal as serious crimes in civilian court: If everything is out there then it can be impossible to find an untainted pool of people to try the case.

        So … we should be patient. Cases as serious as these are likely to take months from the preliminary investigation until approval of courts-martial results and only then is release of details appropriate.

        • Bisley

          The public is never going to be told the truth about any of this. The investigations and trials are a means to hide the facts, and present the public with some sort of explanation that doesn’t compromise the powers-that-be (and, in rare cases, sometimes involves protecting national security).

          • Well, you may be right: The Navy like all bureaucracies does sometimes do the wrong thing when it screws up badly enough. Look up the loss of the Submarine Thresher, the one lost after that due to a torpedo running ‘hot’ while still in the boat (can’t remember the sub’s name), and — if you really want a puke-a-thon — read the Wiki on the Iowa turret fire.

            The Navy vomited on its uniform in all three cases although the stories did finally get out.

            However: operational screw-ups like those two collisions are ‘cleaner’ to handle because responsibility is so focused. Responsibility for the three I named above was all over the place — even back to Congress — and that makes it real tempting to go for cover up.

            We’ll have to wait and see. If we don’t see major disciplinary action in a few months I’ll tend to agree with you.

          • Refguy

            Scorpion

          • We don’t know that yet. We’ll have to wait and see; if in a few more months nothing much else has transpired and we have no meaningful explanation of how these accidents occurred I will agree with you.

  • parum imperium

    Good. If there was this much incompetence in a private sector company, heads would roll. Would we expect a LOWER bar for our military???

  • JD MO

    Seems some ship capt better start waking up at 0200 go up to a person on watch and tell them, you see a cargo ship bearing 090 and closing fast at 2500 meters what do you do.

    And other snap unexpected drills.

    • Gus Seals

      I would drill every ship in the navy twenty four seven until the dropped, until they figured out the watch ment eye’s on the horizon. In the navy and the watch doesn’t know every speck with in five miles, at sea, someone gets time in the brigg

  • PeterJakes

    Situations like this always bring to mind Voltaire’s comment on the hanging of Admiral Byng:

    ‘in this country, it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, in order to encourage the others’ (Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres).

    That sort of thing, unfair as it maybe, encouraged the Royal Navy to become the world’s premier fighting fleet for more two centuries and put fear in the hearts of their enemies.

  • vinnier

    Hacked.

    • Gus Seals

      Not possible!!

  • vinnier

    No Doubt.

  • FLOYDINFLORIDA

    Sad when they can’t even sail without running into each other or running aground?
    No excuse for running into a huge tanker or cargo ship! Everyone on that Bridge should be fired or
    reduced in Rank! They have Radar with proximity alarms WTF over?

  • Jim Lea

    AN ALLEGORY

  • These guys were what was left over after Obama did his general purge. They were loyal to him, but were not qualified to be in charge.

    • John Locke

      Who did Obama purge?

      • publius_maximus_III

        An Internet search turned up the following list of destroyer senior leaders removed from command during Obama’s two terms in office. And this is just one segment (destroyers) from one service, the U.S. Navy. Add all other segments of the USN, and all the other services, and yes I believe the term “general purge” would be appropriate, except perhaps capitalize the word General.

        Former SecNav Ray Mabus did the USN no favors with his “social experiment” diversions and all the upheaval they caused.

        “Loss of confidence in ability to command” resulting in a loss of senior leaders from our destroyer fleet during the Obama years:

        2016.04.08 USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) CO, XO, CMC
        2015.10.05 USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) CMC
        2015.08.21 USS Barry (DDG-52) CO, CMC
        2015.07.13 USS Pinckney (DDG-91) CMC
        2014.10.24 USS Stethem (DDG-63) CO
        2012.09.21 USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) XO
        2012.08.22 USS Dewey (DDG-105) CMC
        2012.06.26 USS Gridley (DDG-101) CMC
        2011.09.07 USS The Sullivan’s (DDG-68) XO
        2011.02.28 USS Momsen (DDG-92) CO
        2009.12.04 USS James E. Williams (DDG-95) CO, CMC

        • Refguy

          Not exactly senior leaders, XO probably relieved by CO rather than a senior (flag level) leader (you omitted Chung Hoon XO fired by CO), CMCs generally fired by COs, Bainbridge triad fired by DesRon after crew death and coverup. Not sure how these reflect on using PC selection criteria for senior (flag?) promotions.

          • publius_maximus_III

            Thanks, I’ve added Chung-Hoon.

      • Whom.

  • Gus Seals

    Ok, now fire the on duty watch! How can you not see a freighter and/ or a danker about to run over you, before you get hit. Gross incompetence. Someone needs jail time! The fact is the navy is trying to cover something up. Still waiting for one of those clowns to say how this is possible??

    • John Locke

      What was the Navy covering up when Navy ships collided with other ships in previous years?

      • Gus Seals

        There is a major difference in playing chicken with a Russian battle ship and sitting dead in the water and getting run over by a ship traveling at a fast walk. The other cases where the idiot cut a cruise boat in half doing a dead whale flop with the sub got fired immediately. As did the sub commander that. Ran into a mountain. There is no reason for a navy ship at Sea to be sitting dead in the water and get run over.

  • JohnByron

    A fish rots from the head. But the whole fish rots. Surface warfare culture is uninformed on why the more successful warfare specialties are more successful. The isolation is stunning. And fatal, career-wise and otherwise. Time to take a round turn.

  • Sailorboy

    It is hard to understand how the collisions can happen when in both cases all ships should have had extra watches in place when navigating in such busy lanes. The reports will probably point to too much dependence on radar and other non-human navigational aids as the root cause on the American side. The pressure to reduce crew size may also be a contributing factor. Those issues are more political factors, such as budgets cuts, and could have been as much of a factor as seamanship.

  • Refguy

    When did we start referring to O-7’s as Rear Adm. instead of Rear Adml.?

  • Refguy

    Is Rowden changing his retirement date to ensure that he retires in grade?

  • publius_maximus_III

    Sorry, no time to read all 391 previous comments. So if this has already been noted, my apologies.

    If Destroyer Squadron 15 is now down from seven to five destroyers, (5/7) = 71% capacity, and it turns out operational tempo was a contributor to both the Fitzgerald and McCain accidents, then aren’t things overly ripe now for yet another collision?

  • Bill Moore

    “U.S. Pacific Fleet officials have repeatedly told USNI News the service will be able to provide ballistic missile defense protection for U.S. allies in the region despite the loss of Fitzgerald and McCain.”

    Yes, by increasing the optempo of the other five destroyers in the squadron, thereby exacerbating the problem.

  • Bill Moore

    I would have thought that this forum would stick to the topic at hand and avoid political and ad hominem attacks, but a quick scan of the first couple of dozen posts suggest otherwise. I find that to be sad and incongruous on a comment thread associated with the Navy which is discussing events in which 17 of our shipmates died.

  • Cook

    Karma for Charles Williams. Very happy to see karma catch up with him.
    Absolutely a failure from the word go at being a leader in the Navy.
    Inevitable and tragic that his lack of leadership would have dire
    consequences in the Navy. Just a shame the Navy was never able to pull
    the plug on him before it happened.

  • Flight Er Doc

    Who’s coat is Capt. Bennet wearing? It looks as though he borrowed one from his bigger brother.

  • RichardAubrey

    We still have a question. A destroyer, greyhound of the ocean, got itself TEEBONED by a freaking tanker. As in perpendicular courses. We don’t expect tankers to go gyrating around the ocean. In fact, we do expect them to have somebody looking out the window, even it takes a quarter of an hour to make something happen. But DESTROYERS????? Eyeballs. Radars. Sonar or whatever they have now. Powerful engines to accelerate or brake, sharp turns available.
    Some time ago, a carrier ran into a mud bank in SF harbor. The mudbank was where it was supposed to be, so that was a bad thing. After that, said reports, bridge operations were supposed to change. Everybody talks to everybody about what they see.
    Suppose one of thes OOD had the attitude, “If I want your views, sailor, I’ll ask for them.” “Okay, a$$hole.”
    To this point, that’s as good as any.

  • sound awake

    so i guess locklear was wrong all along…the biggest threat to the 7th fleet isnt climate change after all…its merchant and fishing vessels…and underwater ground…going to have to redo the whole training syllabus now…

    the us navy in a very embarrassing fashion seems to have forgotten that theres basically only 3 things to worry about in a boat…1…dont hit another boat…2…dont hit the ground…and 3…dont let the boat fill up with water…and if you do a good enough job on the first two the last one usually takes care of itself

    if these things cant even be depended upon to not run aground or into other ships how can they be depended on to shoot down icbms

    what an embarrassment…thanks obama for turning our navy into a laughingstock

  • brianreilly

    These two incidents are the result of a complete breakdown in seafaring culture. Every responsible commanding officer and their second in command, as well as the relevant command MCPO’s should be removed from their posts, and discharged from the Navy. Our sailors deserve nothing less.

    Ignoring the essentials of navigation and watchkeeping make our investment in naval assets worthless. From top to bottom, we need what we are paying for: The best navy in the world. Our taxpayers and citizens deserve no less.

  • whoodoo

    Aye, that is what I was trying to imply. 🙂

  • Jim Higgins

    When is the CNO going to be FIRED?