We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Sailors don't seem to look around any more. In auld tyme flying, we called it "head in the cockpit. More than once in basic I got a good whack on the shoulder from the rear seat, and a sardonic "head up and on a swivel, Harris" over the intercom.
Something is very wrong. Four collisions in 8 months in the 7th fleet. I hope that whatever the investigations uncover is made public. There are a lot of conspiracy theories floating around but I don't see how they could be true. This probably comes down to a simple case of human error or four cases of human error. But I would like to know more about what happened.
I'm sure that it's true that in heavy traffic there's a heightened risk of ships bumping into one another, but it seems like a US Navy destroyer might be the last one you'd want to bump into. It'd be like making your way down a crowded sidewalk and accidentally elbowing Mike Tyson in the ribs - you kinda want to go out of your way to avoid that one.
But I'm with an old Navy guy who told me these things go in cycles - lax procedures and not paying attention to details. A few heads will roll pour encourager les autres and a lot of butts will be chewed and suddenly attention to detail is a top priority but after a while the enthusiasm fades and some details one by one start getting over-looked. Until the next big incident exposes failures in the system and the whole thing starts over again.
Look I'm highly critical of identity politics myself, but the problem here seems to be one of basic incompetence.
Plenty of people working for the federal government go to endless sensitivity trainings and still manage to get the job done -- granted that they might have been able to do it better had they had more time, but these people know what they're doing. If you have skills you have skills: a few hours watching idiotic powerpoints isn't going to destroy a person's ability to navigate if they knew how to do it in the first place.
Running a ship aground, running a destroyer into a cargo ship, letting another ship get nailed by an oil tanker a few months later...it sounds more like these folks couldn't find their own a** with both hands and a flashlight, not that they've spent too many hours on sensitivity trainings. They don't know how to do their job.
I'm afraid we have become too reliant on technology to stand a proper watch. Why rely on lookouts when a buzzer, alarm or a bell to warn the bridge a collision is eminent and too late to do anything about it.
When transiting in a limiting in a channel, limited visibility or high traffic area extra watch standers are added for Lookout, Radar, and yes Aft Steering in case primary steering is lost.
I agree with Jerryskids. People will be relieved, butts will be chewed and the cycle will begin again.
Apparently, the Navy has cut back sharply on training its junior officers for ship handling. Nowadays they are expected to pick it up on the job. One has to wonder if our Navy is up to handling the Chinese.
The blog "in from the Cold" (apparently defunct) had a serious of posts on misconduct and incompetence in our strategic bomber and missile units. One also wonders about their ability to perform their duties.
I was in the Navy and on a destroyer. We operated with the aircraft carriers on Yankee station and the rule was you stay at least 500 yards away from that big boy. Evidently this is not taught today. The CIC is supposed to maintain a surface plot and let you know if you are going to hit something. If the bridge watch can't tell when they are on a collision course and the CIC doesn't know they are on a collision course the incompetence is really bad.
Take a look at Konrad's piece. I think he is bang on. I wrote him about my personal "involvement" in the concept. When politicians use the military for social experimentation there is always a disastrous outcome. EVERY DAMN TIME!
BTW, I'm a big, big Boyd fan. http://gcaptain.com/the-uss-mccain-to-be-or-to-do/