Navy to file criminal charges.. - Page 5 - SailNet Community
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post #41 of 45 Old 05-29-2018
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Re: Navy to file criminal charges..

People won’t say **** if they have a mouthful. Mid 70’s USCG air crew. We have a 10 hour search and land late in San Juan. Secure plane and get a couple of taxis to run is to the hotel. These yokels start street racing. One or two pilots in our cab said nothing. Finally I tell the guy”I don’t fly 10 hours to have you kill me, Knock It Off!

He did, and no one said a word to me about what I said.

Ya think the pilots would have spoken up.

But I don’t always play well with others.

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post #42 of 45 Old 05-30-2018
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Re: Navy to file criminal charges..

Here's what it sounds like from the posts and articles I've read so far.

Crews were fatigued, potentially distracted by "personal technology" (cell phones?), overly reliant on the ship's technology and under trained in seamanship and emergency procedures.

That's pretty much the definition of a systemic problem so it seems fair that the Admirals should be held responsible.

As for the captains, let me ask a couple of questions of those of you who've served because I was never in the Navy and don't know.

Faced with an undermanned crew and junior officers lacking in seamanship training, wouldn't it be the captain's responsibility to drill the crew and junior officers in emergency procedures and the basics of seamanship such as piloting, watch standing and reading the water & weather conditions?

Given that any Captain would have years of experience before getting a command and would be aware that errors go up with fatigue; wouldn't it make sense to keep the bridge crew and lookouts be kept on eight hour shifts, even if meant less down time between shifts?

Why was one of the ships proceeding at a "high rate of speed" and "weaving" through ship traffic with a fatigued and inexperienced crew. Wouldn't it have made more sense to proceed at a speed that was prudent for conditions both internal and external to the ship?

At least from what I've read I don't see this as a witch hunt but rather a recognition that blame at multiple levels led to the preventable deaths of sailors and the crippling of two ships. It seems there should be serious repercussions.

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post #43 of 45 Old 05-30-2018
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Re: Navy to file criminal charges..

If I understood correctly he was a Lieutenant Commander serving as Captain of the vessel but had not been promoted to Captain and yes he had drilled them on their prior watch. The Fitz incident happened just at the change of shifts too which they initially implied is what caused the incident when it first happened due to confusion as the new shift took over. Perhaps the shift coming off the bridge was hoping that they would be able to hand off dealing with the traffic on the next shift but we never discussed that scenario back then. This is kinda old news and I have to think back to discussions had several months or so ago with those serving in that part of the world and closer to it all.

Bright calm and clear with a good moon and miles of visibility so no weather to watch here and yes personal tech be it tablets, cell phones, was at play. More likely for some it was personal boredom from not being fully engaged in their bridge and navigating duties rather than actual fatigue.

Yes good that they are looking at fixing rather than just blaming. It must have been very frustrating for the watch standers on deck who were calling it correctly and being ignored.
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post #44 of 45 Old 05-30-2018
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Re: Navy to file criminal charges..

OnaNavy ship at sea it is an 80% probability that the crew is “fatigued”. If they were in a Port of Call yesterday, it’s 100%.

That is just based on my 11 years on service in the Navy.

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post #45 of 45 Old 05-30-2018
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Re: Navy to file criminal charges..

Sorry, I don’t buy fatigue or distracted.

They, the leadership, don’t know what they are doing and have no respect for the environment they are operating in.

For both recent accidents and the earlier one; doing 20 knots and ignoring sea lanes in high traffic areas is, or should be, criminal. The Captain should not have allowed such a course with a less than highly trained and proficient crew.

These events, for they are NOT “accidents” show a systematic disregard of common sense and of the Navy’s own operating and training procedures. In each incident there are a number of failures that start with poor planning and recognition of the crews degraded state. There are equipment failures or more likely operator failures due to poor training and/or staffing.

I’m hot on the fact they did not use AIS. if they were worried about it revealing their location they could have used it in “Receive Only” mode. This occurred in all three incidents. I find this indefensible.

Given the three incidents in relatively short order, and the common issues between the incidents suspect these types of issues are service wide and the attitudes that perpetrated them are likely deeply ingrained in the leadership.


Elsewhere I’ve seen similar systemic failures. In one case I did some performance analysis on an organizations practices against a parallel industries best practices. We did numerous performance audits and found uniform absymal performance. These findings were presented to management teams. In every instance the data was, at best, given lip service. Very little improvement came from the exercise. The whole program, although well intentioned and well executed, was undermined because the top leadership that ordered it was arrogant and hated by line officials. At one juncture that “We know what you are saying is true but we will fight it and make management fail” or words to that effect. Frankly, I was stunned. I’ve been involved with other culture change efforts that have failed.

All of this is to say that once a poor cultural mindset has infected an organization it is damned difficult to make substantive changes. It can be done but only if effected properly by upper management and the program is consistent over many years. I’m not hopeful that the Navy has adequately taken delivery of the mess they are in.


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Last edited by hpeer; 05-30-2018 at 08:05 PM.
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