February 11, 2019

Some big problems doomed USS Fitzgerald before its fatal crash

Here is some fascinating reading reproduced by Business Insider Australia, February 9, 2019, on USS Fitzgerald's many problems before its 2017 collision. Problems in the US Navy were (are?) even worse than originally thought.

USS Fitzgerald towed into US naval base Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, June 2017, after collision. (Photo courtesy Spc. 1st Class Peter Burghart/US Navy via AP).

Submarine Matters originally reported on the fatal USS Fitzgerald collision on June 18, 2017 and on August 24, 2017.



Anonymous said...

Some online comments from former RAN personnel have suggested part of the problem is the whole USN training methodology. The across the board suggestion from all of them is that the USN way of doing things is part of the problem. Perhaps they need to re-look at how comparative navy’s such as RN, RAN, RNZN, RCN do things. Yes, after all this time we still follow the RN way of doing things. Perhaps there is a lesson here. If countries like Canada & Australia, who have have had every opportunity to study the USN, still stick to the RN way of doing things, it’s because we have compared the two & found the USN way wanting.

The real question for USN is if these had been RN or RAN ships would this likely have happened. While it’s unwise to say never, it’s much more unlikely to occur. So if this is the case, why? Once you understand the why, how to fix it becomes so much easier.

Pete said...

Hi Anonymous

Yes the USN has a different culture of criteria for being noticed and being promoted - before joining the world's largest arms industry. Clearly old fashioned watch keeping is not valued.

Thorough onshore training of USN watch keepers used to be emphasized. Instead there's less onshore training, replaced by a presumption officers will teach themselves when they are already at sea.

Yes hopefully the RAN isn't following the USN training-promotions formula as crashing a $Billion ship is bad PR and operationally AND costs lives.