Monday, August 21, 2017

... and Now the McCain

Unless you went to bed last night early, you should be aware that we've had another collision in WESTPAC;
The destroyer John S. McCain arrived at Changi Naval Base in Singapore mid-afternoon Monday after a harrowing collision with a commercial tanker that has left 10 crew-members missing and five others wounded.

It is the second major collision involving a U.S. Navy warship attached to U.S. 7th Fleet in recent months, following the June 17 collision involving the destroyer Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan, in which seven sailors died.

Four sailors with non-life threatening injuries were evacuated off the destroyer John S. McCain earlier to a hospital in Singapore Monday morning, according to 7th Fleet officials.
As we still wait for the details of what happened with the FITZ, and we need to wait for the results of MCCAIN as well, we really don't know if we keep rolling snake eyes in WESTPAC or if there is some common thread that is worth pulling.

If for no other reason than respect for the families of the dead and still missing, everyone should be careful with too much speculation - there is already a lot of that out there - but that shouldn't stop people from opening their minds to find out what is happening in their Navy.

Let's look at the major surface combatants forward deployed to Japan;

USS Antietam (CG 54)
USS Shiloh (CG 67)
USS Chancellorsville (CG 62)

USS Barry (DDG 52)
USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54)
USS John S. McCain (DDG 56)
USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62)
USS Stethem (DDG 63)
USS Benfold (DDG 65)
USS McCampbell (DDG 85)
USS Mustin (DDG 89)

Just this year:
- FEB, USS Antietam ran aground.
- JUN, USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant off Japan.
- AUG, USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant off Singapore.

In May, San Diego based USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) ran over a S. Korean fishing vessel.

Our Navy is good at getting to the cause of these things. I hope that somewhere the chain of events that led to these four incidents are put up on the white-board dug in to.

I'm not a believer in this much "luck."

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