This is fairly well sourced and passes the smell test - so here you go.
I've not copied it in whole and have anonomized it a bit; though its circulation is such that a lot of people already have it.
Good stuff for everyone to take on and ponder.
First of all, thanks for checking up on us. Everything is ok here but the ship has seen better days! The pictures don't even crack the surface on all the damage we sustained. I was on watch in .... when the walls started caving in. Ill give you the short version as we are still in the process of figuring out what went wrong. ... we were doing a Straight of Hormuz transit .... There was a conversation over the net between the bridge and the TAO about a possibly (sic) contact not under command in front of us. We avoided that contact, checked the radar and didn't have much. SWS had a few hits on the radar but there was not a steady track on the contact. Over the net in heard the OOD say that we were coming up to flank speed to avoid the NUC contact. We went hard right, then hard left to avoid this contact. All of us in combat thought we were clear when we heard we were slowing to 5 knots. Not more than 30 seconds later the ship started coming through the wall. Combat had no warning at all that we were going to collide as we had no paint on this guy. It happened so quickly that there was no time to brace for shock or the collision alarm. It happened so fast. I will never forget that sound or the smell that went along with it.
As of right now, we do not have a starboard break. When the ship came through the wall, the fire main and chill water pipes exploded and we had water pouring out at alarming rate all over energized equipment. My GQ station ... so as you can imagine, fires were breaking out all over the place. Radio was completely submerged as a result of the ruptured fire main and chill water pipes that burst. Besides the gigantic hole in the side of the ship, radio seems to have sustained the most damage. It was filling up so fast that everyone in radio had to use to escape trunk to get out. Cleaning that up is a gigantic mess! We still have not been able to get the ACs back online so the temperature on the ship is well over 130 degrees and has been deemed uninhabitable. The first night in port, everyone slept topside as no one knew what to do with 300 homeless sailors on such short notice. We have about 100 or so cots set up not but that still leave people sleeping topside.
We have every tech rep known to man on board right now along with VADM Miller (5th fleet), the Captain in charge of this area, and so many other military representatives. We really won't know the full extent of the damage for quite a while now but as you can imagine, there isn't much good news coming out of this. The divers were here yesterday and we are starting to hear some of the results from their dive are starting to surface. After this week, we should have a slightly better idea of the extent of the damage and want we are going to do. We do know that whatever fixes they will made here are only temporary and permanent repairs will be made back in Norfolk.
No one ever thinks their ship is going to be the main character of a case study. We don't go out to sea thinking we are going to collide with a fully loaded oil tanker twice our size. It was absolutely unreal. It is a miracle no one was seriously hurt or killed. The bumps and bruises are starting to show up which are very minor in comparison to what could have happened. Had someone been sitting in the tomahawk corner, they would have been cut in half. I walked through the pway where the crash occurred no more than 5 minutes before the crash. Our smoke break was also in the starboard break, which no longer exists. The blast door that was once there is now 2 decks below where it use to be. How is it possible that not a single person was there at the time? We were hit so hard that the missile deck was in the water. SCAT was manned and not a single one of them was hurt. The whole situation is still very unreal and we are all very lucky to be alive. Had we hit head on or at midships, we would have lost a lot of lives. I was standing in combat watching the ship crush the walls in just thinking, this is the end of all of us. It was and still is absolutely unreal.
Please continue to keep everyone onboard PORTER in your thoughts. We have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow let alone in the next hour! All we can do is sit and wait for any updates on what might be happening next.
As a final note - this is just one person's view who was there - sent to me two degrees removed. Read it as such.
UPDATE: A note to the overly dramatic. 1. Take a powder. 2. Re-read the above.
There is absolutely nothing classified in the above. Zero. Zilch. Nada. As he helped raise me in the blogcradle, I subscribe to the John of Argghhh!!!! rule, anything sent to me unless it is specifically stated/requested not to be, is fair game from posting (you should see the stuff I get that never sees the light of day) ... otherwise why would it have been sent to me. I only publish a small percentage of the goodies sent my way in any event.
On the specifics of this case - by the time this redacted email was published here, the unredacted version was all over the place; not by me - but via email, Facebook, etc by others. The drama-mammas, haters, control freaks, bed wetters, & self-important should probably gather a little perspective and note what this email actually does; it gives you a shot of the professionalism of our men and women in a collision at sea. One where no one was killed, but a well trained crew and a well built ship made it back to port under power.
As for OPSEC - have you actually looked at what navy.mil put out in high-res about this incident?
Hat tip ThanksToAll.