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 USS Fitzgerald DDG-62

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Bandit

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PostSubject: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:02 pm

This probably belongs in the politics forum, because that's what it will turn into. A massive political fluster cluck!


Known facts:

1. Both ships were on course and would have passed each other safely as tracked from shore. Both ships also had functioning surface radar.

2. The cargo ship suddenly makes a hard turn to starboard (right) for unknown reasons.

3. Doing so, they slam into the Destroyers starboard (right) side, in the most critical place, at just the right time (0130-0230hrs) when most of the crew is sleeping.

4. The cargo ship destroys the communications room, machine shop, and berthing compartment, killing 7 crewmen. It also destroys the Captains quarters almost crushing him. The Captain and 3 other sailors are MEDEVAC'd.

5. The Destroyer is crippled, has minimal power, is listing badly, and flooding. It cannot call for help, nor try to make any repairs.

6. The cargo ship waits an hour to report the incident.



I'm not prone to wild suspicions, or conspiracies. But I don't see how in the hell they are calling this an "accident".
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:43 pm

I don't see how the Navy couldn't get out of the way of the cargo ship whether it tried to hit them purposely or not. The only way it couldn't run circles around the cargo ship is if they were very close together, why were they so close to each other?

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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:16 am

eber322 wrote:
I don't see how the Navy couldn't get out of the way of the cargo ship whether it tried to hit them purposely or not. The only way it couldn't run circles around the cargo ship is if they were very close together, why were they so close to each other?

They were not, so to speak. The ship that hit the Fitz is just over 900 feet long. So if it was 1000 feet away and passing by, no problem. But cargo ships cruise at their top speed, or say 15-20 knots max. While the Destroyer can go twice that, they do not except under combat conditions. Regardless, it takes time to actually get up to that speed. Since the cargo ship made a sharp turn now headed right for the destroyer, it was less than half the distance the radar last showed and going full speed. Any maneuver the Fitz could do, still takes time and distance. There simply wasn't time to react, and nothing they could do except sound the collision alarm.

While this is just my own observation(s), the cargo ship timed it perfectly. If not for the actions of one amazingly brave sailor, the Fitz would have sank. The only reason they (cargo ship) bothered to report it, although an hour later, was they could see the Fitz didn't sink, and they were the only ship in the area.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:42 am

Well, all I know is my father who did two tours on a destroyer during Vietnam agrees something is off with this story. He says you effectively can't do sharp turn on ships that large due to the mass causing the ship to keep moving in its original direction even after the bow turns. The more mass, and the faster the ship is moving, the longer the ship keeps traveling on its old course before the mass moves in the new direction of the bow. Meaning the cargo ship is not only slower, but drastically less maneuverable than the destroyer.

In other words unless everybody on the bridge was asleep, or they were traveling in very close formation to the cargo ship, the destroyer should have seen them turning and turned away within seconds of the cargo ship changing course. Or increased speed or both, and they wouldn't have been able to hit them. However, if they were in very close formation, the destroyer wouldn't have had those seconds to react.

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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:31 am

If we were talking about the marine technology of the Vietnam era, I'd agree. But nobody has used that junk in decades. Even gas turbines that are currently used by many vessels today were made in the 70-80's.

I suspect the cargo ship had pods. Both Japanese and Filipino ground tracking stations reported the cargo ship made a sharp right turn (90 degrees) and was confirmed by the Fitz.

Nobody from the Fitz was at fault. In incidents like this where tens of millions of dollars in damage is done to a warship, plus lives lost and more injured, the Navy would have relieved somebody by now.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:40 pm

Hey Eber, there is a chance you might be partially right. The Navy has thus far refused to relieve anybody or acknowledge acts of valor pending a complete investigation of the events, including radar logs from both ships.

This is because in initial reports there were claims the cargo ship was on "auto pilot" and the crew had no idea they were about to ram the destroyer. I didn't know ships had that tech, but I searched, and they do. Why anyone would use it, is lost on me. Maybe POV could give us more insight, if he ever returns.

But if that holds true, then the Fitz unknowingly tried to warn a sleeping crew to veer off. I do not know the protocols for changing the course of a Navy ship from what the Captain ordered. I do know the Navy makes every attempt to warn other ships they are too close. If a hostile warship, the Navy does the same before firing on said ship. But in either case, the Navy does not change it's course.

All that said, I guess we'll have to wait and see. But my bet is it will be a political mess.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:32 pm

It's not a matter of how new or old the technology is, it's a matter of physics and that works the same today as it did in the Vietnam era. The only way a ship the size of that cargo ship can make a 90 degree turn, like a car turning a corner, is if it is sitting still or nearly so and spinning one prop to turn in a circle. A ship that size at speed starting parallel would need to start turning about 1.5-2 miles away from the Navy ship in order to hit it perpendicular, as it nearly did minus a couple of degrees. Meaning the Navy ship should have seen it long before it had a chance to hit them and had minutes to either turn away, speed up, or both and avoid them. The cargo ship might have been on auto pilot the Navy shouldn't have been. And they should never let another ship get that close to them outside of a port, unless they were purposely closing with them for some reason.

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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:30 pm

I have no idea where you got all that garbage from. It was the US Navy that told me no closer than 1000 feet, as posted. And no, it's not a matter of Physics. It's a matter of Hydrodynamics. For example, a Nimitz class carrier can turn 180 degrees in under 1/3rd of a mile, in less than 5 minutes.

If you understood ANYTHING about hydrodynamics (and you don't) you would know technology has EVERYTHING to do with it. Design of the hull, propulsion, steering, weight, length, yada, yada.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:42 pm

It all depends on how close the Cargo ship was. Also the Captain was not on the Bridge because it was early morning. I want to know what CIC was doing. Also want to know if the Bridge crew screwed up when the Cargo ship turned. Even the best radar and navigation this stuff still happens. We just don't hear about it unless people get killed.
I suspect the Officer of the Deck is in big trouble. I also want to know what the lookouts seen. Were they sleeping on duty? Another ship rammed our ship. The Captain of the other ship was not at fault the Harbor master was he brought the ship in to fast. Tore two huge holes in our ship. Luckily it was above the water line. The whole thing was investigated. If you hear any news source that gives out any leaks do not believe them. The Navy is great at keeping those kinds of things secret.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:45 pm

eber322 wrote:
It's not a matter of how new or old the technology is, it's a matter of physics and that works the same today as it did in the Vietnam era. The only way a ship the size of that cargo ship can make a 90 degree turn, like a car turning a corner, is if it is sitting still or nearly so and spinning one prop to turn in a circle.  A ship that size at speed starting parallel would need to start turning about 1.5-2 miles away from the Navy ship in order to hit it perpendicular, as it nearly did minus a couple of degrees. Meaning the Navy ship should have seen it long before it had a chance to hit them and had minutes to either turn away, speed up, or both and avoid them. The cargo ship might have been on auto pilot the Navy shouldn't have been. And they should never let another ship get that close to them outside of a port, unless they were purposely closing with them for some reason.
Most ships can turn sharply. The tech they have on them now with the pods and propulsion units they can turn faster than ever before. Especially if a ship loses steering. We have had several close calls when high lining or refueling when the oil tanker, Fuel Tanker you civilians lost steering. We were only about 100 feet apart.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:45 pm

I will say this. If it would have been an FF or DD it would have sunk.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:41 pm

Pissedoffvulcan wrote:
It all depends on how close the Cargo ship was. Also the Captain was not on the Bridge because it was early morning. I want to know what CIC was doing. Also want to know if the Bridge crew screwed up when the Cargo ship turned. Even the best radar and navigation this stuff still happens. We just don't hear about it unless people get killed.
I suspect the Officer of the Deck is in big trouble. I also want to know what the lookouts seen. Were they sleeping on duty? Another ship rammed our ship. The Captain of the other ship was not at fault the Harbor master was he brought the ship in to fast. Tore two huge holes in our ship. Luckily it was above the water line. The whole thing was investigated. If you hear any news source that gives out any leaks do not believe them. The Navy is great at keeping those kinds of things secret.

On most points, we agree. However, I suspect the three sailors MEDEVAC'd were the bridge crew:

Helmsman
Communications
Watch Officer

As I understood it, the OD (Officer of the Deck) applied to only when they were in port. Their responsibility was to inform the CAPT (or watch officer) who left and who came back on board.

Good question on the CIC. But as they were only 60 miles from port, and we have no idea where they were headed or why, it's impossible to speculate.

No idea on the lookouts. What are the watch protocols on that ship? I know there is one on both sides and one on the stern, but when do they get posted?
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:42 pm

Pissedoffvulcan wrote:
I will say this. If it would have been an FF or DD it would have sunk.


Totally agree.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:04 pm

Pissedoffvulcan wrote:

Most ships can turn sharply. The tech they have on them now with the pods and propulsion units they can turn faster than ever before. Especially if a ship loses steering. We have had several close calls when high lining or refueling when the oil tanker, Fuel Tanker you civilians lost steering. We were only about 100 feet apart.

Yeah, but you're talking about side swipe situations or very low speed turns between close proximity ships, not 90 degree turns at speed.

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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:22 pm

eber322 wrote:

Yeah, but you're talking about side swipe situations or very low speed turns between close proximity ships, not 90 degree turns at speed.

No, he isn't. He's referring to nautical stationkeeping. Both ships MUST maintain the distance between each other, as well as match speed (cruising) and course. If you lose steering, the ship you're resupplying is in danger, as is any ship near you.

Ships of that size cannot maneuver at low speeds. And once they commit to a turn, they cannot stop it.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:05 am

I know exactly what he's talking about, but I could have been clearer with my response to him. What I meant was that what he was talking about doesn't match what happened. A 90 degree turn to hit the other ship broadside isn't possible under those conditions he described, a few degrees turn to sideswipe the other ship is. The only way you can have one ship turn 90 degrees within a 100 feet is if it is barely moving or turning in place then moving forward into the other ship after turning.

This is what it takes for a container ship to turn 90 degrees within 100 feet, namely zero forward momentum.


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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:08 am

eber322 wrote:
I know exactly what he's talking about, but I could have been clearer with my response to him. What I meant was that what he was talking about doesn't match what happened. A 90 degree turn to hit the other ship broadside isn't possible under those conditions he described, a few degrees turn to sideswipe the other ship is. The only way you can have one ship turn 90 degrees within a 100 feet is if it is barely moving or turning in place then moving forward into the other ship after turning.

This is what it takes for a container ship to turn 90 degrees within 100 feet, namely zero forward momentum.

Not exactly the rudder can get stuck in many positions. If the hydraulics go out and the rudder suddenly moves you are screwed. However it could be a number of things. A crazy person on the bridge of the tanker. But again they would have to know what kind of ship they were turning into at night. All Navy ships run with lights out except for the running lights to let other ships know where they are. Unless you are very close you cannot tell. Someone screwed up. But I want to know what CIC was doing that tracks everything. Was someone asleep on watch. Did the Officer on Watch screw up? Was he new. How close exactly was the other ship. Could anything have been done. We will not know until the investigation is over.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:31 am

I agree with you Vulcan. However, I will add this:

My buds in the Navy still on active duty said any ship that comes closer than a mile the CPT gets called to the bridge, if not already there. Closer than 1000 feet without permission, they will blow you out of the water. This is because of what happened to the USS Cole.

But none of that happened. As we have discussed, many things that should have happened, didn't.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:48 am

Bandit wrote:
I agree with you Vulcan. However, I will add this:

My buds in the Navy still on active duty said any ship that comes closer than a mile the CPT gets called to the bridge, if not already there. Closer than 1000 feet without permission, they will blow you out of the water. This is because of what happened to the USS Cole.

But none of that happened. As we have discussed, many things that should have happened, didn't.
Not in the shipping lanes I think. But I do wonder if the ship tried to contact the cargo ship? I think that is in just certain parts of the world. Ports and shipping lanes they get close all the time within that 1000 feet. Could you imagine if the Fitsgerald would have blown that ship out of the water. My other question is why wasn't the Captain waken when the cargo ship got within a certain distance.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:36 pm

Well the Navy made its decision. The CDR, XO and MSTR CHF were all relieved. Additionally, 7 other junior officers were also relieved. As I was told they composed the bridge and CIC watch. Also 7 enlisted sailors will receive administrative actions. they were also part of the watch (lookouts). Only the command team will be leaving the Navy. The other 14 will not. However they will be reassigned different duties.

While the investigation is not over, it's obvious there was a serious lack of leadership, not to mention following established procedures, regulations and rules.

More is pending, but that's the gist of it.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:10 pm

WTF?!?!? Now they did it again!

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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:36 am

eber322 wrote:
WTF?!?!? Now they did it again!

It's the 4th or 5th time this year alone, and all from the 7th Fleet. So the Navy just relieved the Fleet Commander as well.

I still have a problem believing these are all simply accidents.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:35 pm

Bandit wrote:
eber322 wrote:
WTF?!?!? Now they did it again!

It's the 4th or 5th time this year alone, and all from the 7th Fleet. So the Navy just relieved the Fleet Commander as well.

I still have a problem believing these are all simply accidents.
They relieved the Admiral of the 7th Fleet. I suspect either poor training or fatigue.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:34 pm

I'm not sure what the issue is. But fatigue or poor training? Not unless the Navy went to hades in a hand-basket.
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PostSubject: Re: USS Fitzgerald DDG-62   Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:56 am

Looks like poor training.
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