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Posted: 8/31/2004 11:10:17 AM EST
Issue Date: September 06, 2004

Collision course
Navy relieves carrier CO

By Christopher Munsey
Times staff writer

Thirteen miles of distance and 28 minutes of time initially stood between the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy and a small wooden dhow in the Persian Gulf the night of July 22.

Despite that advance warning, however, the 82,000-ton warship plowed over the smaller craft, sending it and its crew to the bottom of the gulf, and sinking the career of yet one more decorated Navy skipper.

Perhaps worse, it also set off a firestorm of controversy as to how the dhow got so close to the massive carrier — and what might have happened had the dhow been a bomb-laden terror weapon.

More than a month after the collision that remains largely shrouded in investigative secrecy, Capt. Stephen G. Squires, Kennedy’s commanding officer, was relieved of command by Vice Adm. David C. Nichols, commander of 5th Fleet in Bahrain, on Aug. 27.

He becomes at least the 11th Navy CO fired in 2004.

Nichols relieved the 47-year-old Squires following a review of the Navy’s collision investigation, officials said, saying the three-star had “lost confidence” in Squires’ leadership.

“It was pretty much a loss of confidence to operate the ship safely,” said Cmdr. Ed Buclatin, spokesman for commander, Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet in San Diego.

Buclatin described Nichols’ decision as an “administrative action,” noting decisions about possible nonjudicial punishment had not yet been made.

As of Aug. 27, no other Kennedy crew members had been relieved or reassigned as a result of the investigation, he said.

The Navy released only the barest of details from its follow-up investigation of the collision, and that information raises more questions than answers.

Key among them: What force-protection measures were in place before and after contact? What decisions were made regarding the maneuvering of the carrier once the dhow was spotted? Who decided the dhow was or wasn’t a terrorist threat? How did the dhow get close enough to hit the carrier? Did the ship’s crew fail the skipper, or was it the other way around?

A source familiar with the investigation said the initial information about the dhow’s presence was properly relayed within the carrier’s combat information center and the bridge navigation team during the 28 minutes before the collision.

“They just failed to take the appropriate measures they needed to take to avoid the collision they saw coming,” the source said.

Exactly what that means has not been publicly answered. The source could not elaborate.

Watchstanders in the carrier’s CIC use a battery of radars to monitor surface and air traffic near the carrier, while members of the navigation team up on the bridge watch for surface contacts, both visually and with radar.

Kennedy also has navigation lookouts posted all around the ship responsible for spotting and reporting contacts. It also has ship’s force protection armed with small arms and crew-served weapons, keeping watch for threats.

Weather was not mentioned as a factor in the collision, the source said.

While terrorists have used dhows and other small boats for attacks in the region, investigators don’t believe terrorism played a role.

“There’s nothing about this incident that leads us to believe there was terrorist intent,” the source said.

No one is saying how large the dhow was, or what its course and speed were.

The fact that a suspicious boat hit the hull of a carrier, however, raises serious security concerns.

The carrier, which is supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, arrived in the gulf in early July, leaving its home port of Mayport, Fla., on June 7. Squires took over as CO in April.

28 minutes, few details

On the night of July 22, Kennedy started a cycle of night flight operations about 45 minutes before the collision.

The British Royal Navy frigate Somerset was serving as plane guard, but no other Navy vessels were in the vicinity.

Squires was not on the bridge when the dhow was first spotted, Buclatin said.

If the commanding officer is not on the bridge during flight operations, a “command duty officer” appointed by the CO is on the bridge, Buclatin said. At some point, Squires was called to the bridge before the collision because of the dhow’s presence, Buclatin said.

He said the Kennedy tried to contact the dhow via bridge-to-bridge radio, but got no response.

What happened in the next 28 minutes, however, remains unclear. Buclatin could not provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

According to The Associated Press, which spoke to several Navy officials, some on the condition of anonymity, a decision was later made aboard the carrier to land an incoming F-14 Tomcat in the last moments before the collision.

After the F-14 landed safely, the carrier steered hard to one side in an attempt to avoid the dhow. As the carrier veered, the F-14 skidded into an F/A-18 Hornet secured on the flight deck. Both planes sustained minor damage, but no one was injured.

At some point, two people were spotted aboard the dhow before the collision, Buclatin said.

Kennedy and Somerset launched boats and aircraft to search for survivors, but only a small area of floating debris was found.

Dhows are regional watercraft used for trade, fishing and recreation.

In the weeks after the collision, authorities from the local gulf states have not reported any vessels missing, and no bodies were ever recovered.

Interim command

An interim skipper, Capt. John W. Miller, assumed command of Kennedy on Aug. 27. Miller’s most recent command was of the decommissioned carrier Constellation.

He is Kennedy’s fifth commanding officer in the past three years. Squires is the second Kennedy skipper who has been relieved for loss of confidence in recent years.

In December 2001, Capt. Maurice Joyce was relieved shortly before the carrier was to deploy overseas, following a disastrous material inspection.

Squires has been temporarily assigned to commander, Carrier Group 6 in Mayport.

The results of the investigation are now making their way up the Navy’s chain of command, to determine whether further action will be taken against Squires or any other members of Kennedy’s crew, Buclatin said.

A decision on whether to hold an admiral’s mast for Squires will be made by Vice Adm. James Zortman, commander, Naval Air Forces, he said.

The relief marked an early end to Squires’ second tour as a ship CO.

Ironically, in July 2000, Squires took over as CO of the amphibious transport dock ship Denver two months early, after its skipper was relieved of command following a collision with the oiler Yukon during an underway replenishment.

Squires is a Class of 1979 Naval Academy graduate whose service includes 89 combat sorties as an E-2C Hawkeye pilot.

The action against Squires comes at a time when the Navy is reviewing its selection and training process for commanding officers, due to a troubling spike in the number of fired skippers.

Squires was at least the 11th CO to be relieved in 2004 and the 28th since February 2003.

In June, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Mullen ordered the Naval inspector general to conduct a formal investigation into the trend.

The review is examining why 80 commanding officers have been fired over the past five years, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon said.

Results of the investigation are expected next month, the spokesman said.

The gulf’s challenges

Retired Vice Adm. Hank Giffin commanded the Constellation battle group from 1994 to 1996, during a Persian Gulf deployment. Giffin described the gulf, with its hot and hazy conditions, as one of the “most difficult” places in the world for carrier operations.

The gulf has a lot of coastal traffic, and keeping track of it is a constant challenge, he said.

Giffin wondered whether radar equipment was able to keep a continuous track of the dhow from the time it was first detected, given a typical boat’s wooden construction and low freeboard above the water.

Standard procedure calls for letting the CO know whenever another vessel’s “close point of approach” is judged to be five miles or less.

Whatever went wrong, Giffin said, it’s likely other crew members will ultimately bear some responsibility, not just the CO:

“It takes a whole series of things to go wrong when something like this happens.”

http://www.navytimes.com/story.php?f=1-NAVYPAPER-324147.php



Issue Date: September 06, 2004

Experts discount boat-bomb theory

Terrorists have used small boats and dhows to attack ships and oil terminals in the Middle East, but naval analysts say boat-bombs are ineffective weapons against a massive aircraft carrier.

Even if the dhow that collided with the carrier John F. Kennedy on July 22 in the Persian Gulf had been packed with explosives, the bulk of the concussive force would have blasted into the open air and not into the ship, said naval author Norman Polmar.

Such an explosion wouldn’t strike beneath the water line, where the ship is most vulnerable, Polmar said.

“There’s no danger of sinking,” he said. “It might blow a hole in the side.”

And the magazines of an aircraft carrier, which contain tons of bombs and missiles, are thickly armored and are deep inside the ship, he said.

Even if an explosion did break the hull and cause flooding, a carrier is highly compartmentalized with watertight doors, limiting the volume of space that can be affected, said Ron O’Rourke, a naval analyst with Congressional Research Service.

“Whatever is flooded is a proportionally smaller space,” O’Rourke said.

http://www.navytimes.com/story.php?f=1-NAVYPAPER-324668.php
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:13:34 AM EST
Sounds like murder --- pure and simple murder.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:16:36 AM EST
Looks like the OOD violated the Captains Standing Order #1: "Don't hit anything!".

I'm surprised the OOD and JOOD aren't getting their assess handed to them, as well.

As for the "murder" comment...........

Oh, never mind. It's just cyanide......
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:19:49 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:20:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By cyanide:
Sounds like murder --- pure and simple murder.




Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:28:17 AM EST
um, yea.
don't carriers have battle groups of smaller escort ships and CAP umbrellas?
why didn't an escort ship detain the Dhow?


i guess it would have been bad form to sink the Dhow with a burst of minigun fire or a shot from a 5" deck gun?
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:29:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 11:30:16 AM EST by EricTheHun]
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:31:36 AM EST
I forget how long I heard it takes for them to turn around and look for a man overboard ? A long time.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:32:23 AM EST
5 COs in 3 years. That sounds like a jinxed command.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:34:07 AM EST
Reading and comprehension are vastly underrated...
The British Royal Navy frigate Somerset was serving as plane guard, but no other Navy vessels were in the vicinity.




Originally Posted By hk940:
um, yea.
don't carriers have battle groups of smaller escort ships and CAP umbrellas?
why didn't an escort ship detain the Dhow?


i guess it would have been bad form to sink the Dhow with a burst of minigun fire or a shot from a 5" deck gun?

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:36:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 11:45:07 AM EST by psychotr]

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:
Some folks are likely surprised that a ship as massive as an aircraft carrier cannot be maneuvered as easily as a skiff.

I recall reading about the collision between the Stockholm and the Andrea Doria that occurred in 1956.

When the ships were approximately 7 miles apart, in heavy fog, the Captain of the SS Stockholm announced to the officers on the bridge that the impending collision was 'unavoidable.'

Wait a minute? The ships are 7 miles apart and the collision is 'unavoidable'?

Apparently so.

Eric The(SlowAndSteadyWinsTheRace)Hun



BS

I suggest you read this: http://www.pbs.org/lostliners/andrea.html
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:36:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 11:39:30 AM EST by ASUsax]

Originally Posted By hk940:
um, yea.
don't carriers have battle groups of smaller escort ships and CAP umbrellas?
why didn't an escort ship detain the Dhow?




Quote: "The British Royal Navy frigate Somerset was serving as plane guard, but no other Navy vessels were in the vicinity."


Edited to add: Whoops, got beat to it...
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:42:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 11:43:07 AM EST by Max_Mike]

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:
Some folks are likely surprised that a ship as massive as an aircraft carrier cannot be maneuvered as easily as a skiff.

I recall reading about the collision between the Stockholm and the Andrea Doria that occurred in 1956.

When the ships were approximately 7 miles apart, in heavy fog, the Captain of the SS Stockholm announced to the officers on the bridge that the impending collision was 'unavoidable.'

Wait a minute? The ships are 7 miles apart and the collision is 'unavoidable'?

Apparently so.

Eric The(SlowAndSteadyWinsTheRace)Hun



NO. The Stockjolm - Andrea Doria collision was not avoidable it a result of screw ups on both ships.

While large sea going ships cannot turn around or stop in short distance they can sure as hell change course the few degrees necessary to miss a small vessel they are on a collision course with.

It is almost certain a major screw up that any unidentified vessel was allowed that close much less run down. What if they had been carrying a mine?

The Captain had escort vessels and helicopters that could have intercepted this vessel at 28 miles he would have had a minimum of 30 minutes warning and probably more like 90 minutes. There is no excuse for this collision happening and that carrier being put in jeopardy.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:42:40 AM EST
Well kids, this is what the 300 ship Democrat navy looks like.

Anyone going to vote dem this year?


Originally Posted By ASUsax:

Originally Posted By hk940:
um, yea.
don't carriers have battle groups of smaller escort ships and CAP umbrellas?
why didn't an escort ship detain the Dhow?




Quote: "The British Royal Navy frigate Somerset was serving as plane guard, but no other Navy vessels were in the vicinity."


Edited to add: Whoops, got beat to it...

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 11:42:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 11:43:39 AM EST by Zaphod]

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:
Some folks are likely surprised that a ship as massive as an aircraft carrier cannot be maneuvered as easily as a skiff.

I recall reading about the collision between the Stockholm and the Andrea Doria that occurred in 1956.

When the ships were approximately 7 miles apart, in heavy fog, the Captain of the SS Stockholm announced to the officers on the bridge that the impending collision was 'unavoidable.'

Wait a minute? The ships are 7 miles apart and the collision is 'unavoidable'?

Apparently so.

Eric The(SlowAndSteadyWinsTheRace)Hun



Eric,

Sorry, buddy, but that's simply not true.

While an aircraft carrier cannot turn on a dime, an initial range of 13 miles and a CPA (Closest Point of Approach) time of 28 minutes, there is PLENTY of time to maneuver. If, however, the dhow was actively stalking the carrier, then the flattop would have little chance of evading unless it OUTRAN the dhow.

One other thing: During flight ops, carriers normally haul ass, which means the ship has lots of water running over the rudders and as such is more responsive to helm commands. While the dhow should have steared clear of the carrier (a carrier performing flight ops is, strictly speaking, a vessel restricted in its ability to maneuver, but try teaching Rules of the Road to these idiots), the carrier still could have waved off the F-14 and moved.

Basedon what little we have here, the OOD, the JOOD, and the CICWO seriously screwed up, and the Captain, as always, takes the fall. The fact he's falling alone i what surprises me.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:03:34 PM EST
Why in the hell is an aircraft carrier operating in the Persian Gulf without any escorts whatsoever? The asshole who made that decision should be the one sacked.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:20:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By shotar:
It is my general understanding that it is considered very very bad for one sea going vessel to collide with anything, particularly another sea going vessel. This being the case, one guy is usually considered responsible.



This is a nothing statement. Wow, what insight.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:22:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Neutral_Observer:
Why in the hell is an aircraft carrier operating in the Persian Gulf without any escorts whatsoever? The asshole who made that decision should be the one sacked.



I truly can't understand this....
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:28:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Neutral_Observer:
Why in the hell is an aircraft carrier operating in the Persian Gulf without any escorts whatsoever? The asshole who made that decision should be the one sacked.



It had a frigate as the plane guard. The Navy is spread THIN. We don't go around bitching about what we can't do because we don't have the resources. Instead we do what we can with what we have. The other ships in the Carrier Battle Group are out in Tomahawk launch boxes or patrolling higher threat areas. Would it surprise you to know that amphibious assault ships didn't have escorts until about two years ago? Now they are formed into Expeditionary Strike Groups, which further reduces the ships available to the carriers. A carrier plus an escort or two isn't unheard of, even in the Arabian Gulf (as they Navy likes to call it). And we can't go around shooting every vessel that gets in our way. If that was the case there would be very few fishermen left in Norfolk/Virginia Beach.

That being said there was plenty of time to avoid it. The OOD's career is over, probably not the JOOD though. The OOD never receives the press that the CO gets.


Dport, sitting in awe of the wealth of expertise in Naval Warfare that resides on this board.

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:38:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By dport:

Dport, sitting in awe of the wealth of expertise in Naval Warfare that resides on this board.




Sorry, bud, but in my ten years of service, I never saw a carrier doing maneuvers with only one escort, and a foreign one at that.

3-5 ships minimum. Granted, that was a while ago.

I wasn't expecting an entire battle fleet or anything, just something more than a Brit tin can...
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:40:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:48:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Neutral_Observer:
Why in the hell is an aircraft carrier operating in the Persian Gulf without any escorts whatsoever? The asshole who made that decision should be the one sacked.


The Persian Gulf is a real small place for USA aircraft carrier. It's more like a lake, and it is crowded with all sorts of military and commercial shipping.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:50:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:

Sorry, Zaphod, but I was not making a statement about this particular incident, but pointing out that massive ships at sea are not as easily maneuverable as some would think.

In the case of the USS Kennedy, it appears that there was derelection of duty somewhere that prevented the carrier from avoiding the dhow, but the case that I brought up was the Stockholm ~ Andrea Doria collision, in which it appears that 7 miles of open sea between the two ships was insufficient for them to avoid the collision.

Sorry, that I even brought this collision up, if you think anything I said indicated that the Captain of the USS Kennedy was NOT responsible for the ships actions or inactions that resulted in the collision!

Eric The(Sheesh!)Hun



No reason to apologize. Simple misunderstanding on my part.

However, even seven miles is PLENTY of room. The reason the Andrea Doria and the Stockholm collided was heavy fog and lack of training on radar, not speed/range....
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:53:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By The_Neutral_Observer:
Why in the hell is an aircraft carrier operating in the Persian Gulf without any escorts whatsoever? The asshole who made that decision should be the one sacked.



It had a frigate as the plane guard. The Navy is spread THIN. We don't go around bitching about what we can't do because we don't have the resources. Instead we do what we can with what we have. The other ships in the Carrier Battle Group are out in Tomahawk launch boxes or patrolling higher threat areas. Would it surprise you to know that amphibious assault ships didn't have escorts until about two years ago? Now they are formed into Expeditionary Strike Groups, which further reduces the ships available to the carriers. A carrier plus an escort or two isn't unheard of, even in the Arabian Gulf (as they Navy likes to call it). And we can't go around shooting every vessel that gets in our way. If that was the case there would be very few fishermen left in Norfolk/Virginia Beach.

That being said there was plenty of time to avoid it. The OOD's career is over, probably not the JOOD though. The OOD never receives the press that the CO gets.


Dport, sitting in awe of the wealth of expertise in Naval Warfare that resides on this board.




And the correct answer to the problem is to send a multi-billion dollar carrier (with one British escort) into restricted waters populated by:
A) Numerous little ships that could be loaded with mines
B) Iranian patrol craft and Exocet-carrying aircraft
C) Iranian land-based anti-shipping missles
D) God knows how many mines drifting around from previous wars
E) Whatever any other country wants to send into the Gulf to cause trouble with

No expert on naval warfare here, but The Neutral Observer likes to believe He has some common sense.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:54:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

Originally Posted By dport:

Dport, sitting in awe of the wealth of expertise in Naval Warfare that resides on this board.




Sorry, bud, but in my ten years of service, I never saw a carrier doing maneuvers with only one escort, and a foreign one at that.

3-5 ships minimum. Granted, that was a while ago.

I wasn't expecting an entire battle fleet or anything, just something more than a Brit tin can...



Makes a good looking picture of the BG leaving, but then by the time you get overseas, the frigate stays in the Med. A destroyer or two stops conducts MIO off the coast of some 5th fleet shithole. The other destoyers and a cruiser are playing nurse maid to the amphibs, and an escort or two stays with the carrier. That's how it's run these days. We have about 300 ships, but only 105 IIRC are surface combatants. You were in so do the math. You are familiar with the rotations, the yard periods, the various training exercises, etc. The requirements vastly outweigh the resources. Of course, if we raised taxes to support a "traditional" battlegroup, which hasn't been seen very often since you were in, the people would bitch about that.

FYI GEORGE WASHINGTON, the CVN KENNEDY relieved, deployed with the VELLA GULF, the BULKELEY, and the HMCS TORONTO, that's it!. When she was operating in the gulf it was not unusual to see only one escort. Usually, when we passed them on our way to Iraq, she had only one escort running plane guard. There were several times when we were flown over by the carrier's aircraft to confirm our ID. The rest of the battle group was either with the ESG, YORKTOWN and VELLA GULF, or were independant deployers, ROSS, RAMAGE, ELROD.

Just because the OOD on the KENNEDY fucked up doesn't mean our TTP is bad.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:03:30 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:09:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Neutral_Observer:
And the correct answer to the problem is to send a multi-billion dollar carrier (with one British escort) into restricted waters populated by:
A) Numerous little ships that could be loaded with mines


The escort ship's are more vulnerable to this threat than a carrier.

B) Iranian patrol craft and Exocet-carrying aircraft

Whose every movement is tracked. And why the carrier aircraft are there in the first place.

C) Iranian land-based anti-shipping missles

Which the carrier operates away from during these types of operations. When the carrier enters or leaves the AG it's a whole different ballgame.

D) God knows how many mines drifting around from previous wars

Which is why we have 4 minesweepers/hunters based in Bahrain.

E) Whatever any other country wants to send into the Gulf to cause trouble with

Iran is about it. If they are in the AG then they are either allied or Iranian. There is very little warship traffic in the AG that isn't allied. I think I saw an OLD, and I mean really old, Egyptian ship make a port call to Bahrain.


No expert on naval warfare here, but The Neutral Observer likes to believe He has some common sense.


Not implying you don't have common sense. I'm suggesting that you do not have all the information. I don't jump to conclusions about land warfare TTP because that is not my area and I hate Monday morning quarterbacking. Naval warfare is my chosen profession. And there are factors that drive hard choices. I know of no battlegroup commander that wouldn't want the number ships we had available even 10-15 years ago. It allows us to do more over a larger area. However, we don't have that luxury, and there is much to do. Does this incident mean the choices that were made were bad ones? I don't think so. I think the OOD screwed up plain and simple. I also think the choices the CO made about Force Protection watches can be questioned. When I was in the AG, a mere two months ago, I had 7.62 miniguns and .50 cals that were ready to go at a moments notice. Not to mention we had signaling flares, bullhorns, the ship's horn, VHF radios, and spotlights available to us to warn away those damned fishing dhows. Did the KENNEDY have that? I don't know, but it sure doesn't look like they were ready. Again that doesn't mean the Navy screwed up. It just means the KENNEDY screwed up.

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:13:35 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:14:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 8:33:28 PM EST by cgj]

Originally Posted By Paul:
A carrier is a thousand feet long and can almost do a 180 degree turn in it's lenght - but that requires lots of rudder and people and aircraft would be tossed around a whole bunch.

o
o
o

dark by the time we dropped anchor ... and managed to hit the anchorage spot so exact that the anchor chain (with 500 pound links) fouled the bouy. About 11:00 at night they set charges off to blow the bouy cable off of our chain and scared half the crew to death with the noise. What a day!



Sounds like one of those "Admiral Gallery" stories. Next thing we know, you'll be calling us over to look at the sea bat you caught.

ETA: after a few hours to look at this, I can see that one might think that I don't accept the veracity of Paul's post. This can't be farther from the truth! My intention is to admire Paul's "sea story" and draw a comparison to some of the finest "historical fiction" ever published. cgj

Sorry for the unintentional hijack.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:14:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:

I recall reading about the collision between the Stockholm and the Andrea Doria that occurred in 1956.

When the ships were approximately 7 miles apart, in heavy fog, the Captain of the SS Stockholm announced to the officers on the bridge that the impending collision was 'unavoidable.'

Wait a minute? The ships are 7 miles apart and the collision is 'unavoidable'?

Apparently so.



I completely agree with your statement on the difficulty of rapidly turning large vessels, but I think you are recalling the Andrea Doria/Stockholm collision incorrectly.


Nobody on either ship BELIEVED that they were going to hit each other. Officers on both ships made errors in correctly reading their radars, and both ships incorrectly assumed the other was closer to land than they really were.

The collision was avoidable right up to the final minutes, but due to the errors, both ships headed directly towards one another - they could easily have avoided the collision had they just turned the other way.

(btw - the Andrea Doria was in a fog bank, but the Stockholm was not).


Sorry to be anal (but you know me) - I actually had quite an interest in the Andrea Doria because at one time I considered diving the wreck... but wisely decided not to

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:18:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:
The Kenedy has a dozen .50 BMG stations with pre-deployed weapons and ammo. There is one in both the port and starboard catwalks up forward.



I'm not a bird farm sailor, I try mightily to stay in the Black Shoe world. Are there restrictions with flares, spotlights, etc, when conducting flight ops? I'm thinking the OOD chose the aircraft over dealing with the dhow.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:27:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:32:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:
Sorry, DK-Prof, but the book that I read on the collision indicated that at a time that the two ships were 7 miles apart, the crew on the SS Stockholm understood that collision was inevitable.



If so, they were wildly mistaken. I can do donuts with a carrier at flank inside that range.....
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:40:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By dport:

Not implying you don't have common sense. I'm suggesting that you do not have all the information. I don't jump to conclusions about land warfare TTP because that is not my area and I hate Monday morning quarterbacking. Naval warfare is my chosen profession. And there are factors that drive hard choices. I know of no battlegroup commander that wouldn't want the number ships we had available even 10-15 years ago. It allows us to do more over a larger area. However, we don't have that luxury, and there is much to do. Does this incident mean the choices that were made were bad ones? I don't think so. I think the OOD screwed up plain and simple. I also think the choices the CO made about Force Protection watches can be questioned. When I was in the AG, a mere two months ago, I had 7.62 miniguns and .50 cals that were ready to go at a moments notice. Not to mention we had signaling flares, bullhorns, the ship's horn, VHF radios, and spotlights available to us to warn away those damned fishing dhows. Did the KENNEDY have that? I don't know, but it sure doesn't look like they were ready. Again that doesn't mean the Navy screwed up. It just means the KENNEDY screwed up.




Someone screwed up somewhere along the line, or the Navy would have the ships it needed to make a proper job of it. Who that might have been is a different question, but The Neutral Observer suspects that he was "fired" back in 2000.

There is no doubt that the guy in charge on the Kennedy screwed up in this case, but regardless, a multi-billion dollar capital ship in hostile waters with one escort just seems like a bad, bad situation.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:42:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 1:43:18 PM EST by Leisure_Shoot]
Sink
Speed Away
Shut Up




Seems simple, really.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:46:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By The_Neutral_Observer:
Someone screwed up somewhere along the line, or the Navy would have the ships it needed to make a proper job of it. Who that might have been is a different question, but The Neutral Observer suspects that he was "fired" back in 2000.

There is no doubt that the guy in charge on the Kennedy screwed up in this case, but regardless, a multi-billion dollar capital ship in hostile waters with one escort just seems like a bad, bad situation.



I'm all for more Command at Sea opprotunities, and as much as I'd like to blame Bill, I don't think the nation would tolerate the bill for a large Navy.

The AG isn't friendly waters, but it's not exactly hostile either. There isn't a shooting match going on. If there were indications and warnings of a hostile move you can bet the carrier would NOT be alone.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 1:47:18 PM EST
There are no armed watches on watch during flight ops or during most anytime underway.
The MAA's carry sidearms, much like a cop does.

There are watches with spotlights port/stbd - fore/aft during flight ops.
Watches can not fire up the spot lights during flight ops without permission of the OOD or in case of an emergency.




Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Paul:
The Kenedy has a dozen .50 BMG stations with pre-deployed weapons and ammo. There is one in both the port and starboard catwalks up forward.



I'm not a bird farm sailor, I try mightily to stay in the Black Shoe world. Are there restrictions with flares, spotlights, etc, when conducting flight ops? I'm thinking the OOD chose the aircraft over dealing with the dhow.

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 4:01:34 PM EST
Umm, I was on the USS George Washington, the carrier the Kennedy relieved. After an offshore oil loading platform was hit by a suicide boat earlier this year, killing 2 sailors, we had machine gun mounts manned up 24/7. For the most part, they were M240Gs. These mounts were all hanger bay level. The only time we manned up all our .50 mounts was when transiting restricted manuvering waterways, or pulling in/out port.

We heard about this collision while on our way home. Relieving the CO is the proper thing to do. After all, he is the CO, and is ultimately responsible for everything that happens with his ship. The buck stops here, and all that.

I just hope NAV department takes this incident as a wake up call, for some obviously needed remedial training.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 4:27:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/31/2004 4:32:33 PM EST by Johnny_Reno]
Carriers can maneuver....and they're fast too.




Link Posted: 8/31/2004 4:43:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By Leisure_Shoot:
Sink
Speed Away
Shut Up



Seems simple, really.



No kidding. The thing attacked me.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 6:48:46 PM EST
I was on the Stennis during OEF - Operation Anaconda.
That's probably why we didn't have the machine guns mounted or manned.
We weren't worried about Afganies driving a boat to try sink us.
We did the same when transiting restricted manuvering waterways, or pulling in/out port.



Originally Posted By Unknown1Sailor:
Umm, I was on the USS George Washington, the carrier the Kennedy relieved. After an offshore oil loading platform was hit by a suicide boat earlier this year, killing 2 sailors, we had machine gun mounts manned up 24/7. For the most part, they were M240Gs. These mounts were all hanger bay level. The only time we manned up all our .50 mounts was when transiting restricted manuvering waterways, or pulling in/out port.

We heard about this collision while on our way home. Relieving the CO is the proper thing to do. After all, he is the CO, and is ultimately responsible for everything that happens with his ship. The buck stops here, and all that.

I just hope NAV department takes this incident as a wake up call, for some obviously needed remedial training.

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 6:49:57 PM EST
I've always wondered about that Nimitz pic. WHat would it be like to be on a carrier heeled over that far?
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 7:11:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By Unknown1Sailor:
I've always wondered about that Nimitz pic. WHat would it be like to be on a carrier heeled over that far?








Link Posted: 8/31/2004 7:28:01 PM EST
Are you in the Navy?
They do that during Sea Trials and after extended yard periods.
We were supposed to do a couple of those on board the Stennis back in 01 before we supposed to go on cruise.
They flew almost the entire air wing off the ship and we spent half a day securing everything in our shops and berthing.
In the end we didn't do it.




Originally Posted By Unknown1Sailor:
I've always wondered about that Nimitz pic. WHat would it be like to be on a carrier heeled over that far?

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 7:40:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:
Sorry, DK-Prof, but I'm just as anal as you are, it appears. I will try to find the book that I had read indicating that the Stockholm's bridge was aware that the collision was unavoidable when the two ships were still 7 miles apart!

This is the part that you disbelieve, correct?

Eric The(Studious)Hun




It's a very minor point - please don't spend any time looking it up. My understanding was that the two ships were heading towards each other, and thus even a minor course correction to either side would have prevented the collision right up to the very end. The problem was that rader readings were interpreted incorrectly, and even when the ships were only a few miles apart, they though that were much further apart. Even when they were about a mile from each other, had the Andre Doria turned right instead of left, the collision would likely have been avoided.

Like I said - please don't spend any time on it, because it's really not that relevent, and even if I'm wrong (WHICH I OFTEN AM), it's not a big deal to me either way.

However, I did just rummage around with Google and find this nice site that gives a neat summary of actions on both vessels (and this seems consistent with other sources and reports). It also has a nifty little illustration on the bottom that shows the Stockholm turning right, and the A.D. turning left, into each other.

www.andreadoria.org/TheEncounter/Default.htm

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:23:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
If so, they were wildly mistaken. I can do donuts with a carrier at flank inside that range.....




Yeah, I saw a video of them doing that to a carrier on see trials. I forget which one.

She was going fast, turned hard. Turned much tighter than I ever thought possible. Granted the list to one side looked bigger then it does in Johnny_Reno's pics. Everybody was standing really funny on the deck.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:27:55 PM EST
Would the tie down chains hold the aircraft on the deck in a violent turning maneuver as depicted in the photo?
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:30:58 PM EST
Yes. It takes a fuck of a long time to tie down all the aircraft on the flight deck and in the hanger bay with at least 16 point tiedowns..


Originally Posted By Leisure_Shoot:
Would the tie down chains hold the aircraft on the deck in a violent turning maneuver as depicted in the photo?

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:58:00 PM EST
Yea, Im active duty Navy.

(hint: unknown1sailor )

I've never been on a PRECOMDET, so I wouldn't know how a shakedown cruise goes. My last ship's company tour was the USS Kitty Hawk, and if that ship ever heeled over like that, it wouldn't stop!
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 9:21:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Even if an explosion did break the hull and cause flooding, a carrier is highly compartmentalized with watertight doors, limiting the volume of space that can be affected, said Ron O’Rourke, a naval analyst with Congressional Research Service.

“Whatever is flooded is a proportionally smaller space,” O’Rourke said.

http://www.navytimes.com/story.php?f=1-NAVYPAPER-324668.php




And the Titanic was 'unsinkable' with compartments and watertight doors too.


And yes, I realize that the Titanic had a few problems with its 'watertight' compartments not extending all the way up, thus allowing water to flow from one compartment to the next, etc, etc.

But you'd THINK that a naval analyst would know better than to imply that any ship is unsinkable.
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