Sunday, June 18, 2017

The USS Fitzgerald collision.

Regarding the collision of the USS Fitzgerald and the container ship. While it is too early to say exactly what happened or who is at fault there are things to be considered. It has been said that the container ship doubled back on its course before the collision for unknown reasons. If this is true it does not relieve responsibility for the collision from the Fitzgerald. Why? 
Think of safe navigation of a ship and collision avoidance like defensive driving. You always assume that the other driver will do something unexpected so you give yourself room to maneuver or stop just in case the unexpected happens. Never assume the other vessel will take action to avoid collision or will not pull a bonehead move. 
I served on submarines for 11 years and part of my job as a navigation electronics technician was to assist in the safe navigation and maneuvering of the ship, it is what we do. From the navigator who is in charge of navigation to the lowest person on the piloting party we undergo extensive training on collision avoidance. We are taught the "rules of the road" and Colregs which deal with collision avoidance. We attent piloting trainer while in off crew which is a simulator for navigating the ship in enclosed waters like entering port. We go over past collisions to see why they happened and how it could be avoided. The training continues your whole career. Why? Because one of He most dangerous things faced by a submarine or surface vessel is the act of entering or leaving port, especially in a high traffic area. We are taught to never depend on the other vessel to avoid a collision even if we have the right of way. We track every vessel, contact, around the ship and plot their course, speed, and closest approach. We have certain standing orders to maintain a safe distance from other vessel and to not let the closest predict approach come within a certain range around the ship. Above all we are taught to pay attention to detail and not slack off because the moment you do is the moment the unexpected happens. This has to be done no matter how busy a port is or how many vessels there are. If it gets real busy only vessels within a certain range are tracked, especially those that will intersect plotted course.
A submarine is unique because most of its hull is under water and that part that is not is low to the water compared to surface vessels. A submarine is not as maneuverable as surface ships so that is taken into account. We also note the type of vessels around us so we have an idea of how they maneuver. A container ship is large and is not as maneuverable as a ship such as the USS Fitzgerald so the control Party would take that into account. Allowances would have been made, or should have been made to give the container ship a wide berth. The moment when the control team saw the container ship swing around the officer of the deck should have maneuvered to put distance between the two ships. And since a container ship cannot turn on a dime there should have been plenty of time for the Fitzgerald to take evasive action unless they left it too late or allowed them to get to close to begin with. Since it seems likely that both vessels were on a similar course to begin with before the collision and the Fitzgerald was probably over taking the container ship, bridge to bridge communications should have been established with the Fitzgerald declaring her intention to over take the container ship and keep a safe distance. The vessel being overtaken has the right of way. If the Fitzgerald tried to overtake the container and the container ship maneuvered into the Fitzgerald the onus would still be on the Fitzgerald.
The Navy and other authorities will look at the logs of both vessels, examine plots, and communications to reconstruct the collision. It is sad but the fault will be placed on the USS Fitzgerald unless there are extenuating circumstances, the container ship deliberately tried to ram. If the officer on watch or others In control failed to follow procedures or were derelict in their duties they will be courts  martialed, probably for the military equivalent of manslaughter times seven.
This was a preventable tragedy and it is now up to the investigators to determine why and who is at fault. 

My thoughts and prayers are for the crew and Families of the USS Fitzgerald. And though It has been 20 years since I left the Navy, I am and will always be a sailor. These people are my shipmates just like all those who served, now serve, and will serve the Greatest Navy in the World and in History. Fair winds and following seas shipmates.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Anti-Sharia marchers are ignorant of the constitution.

The dumbest thing I have seen this weekend has to be the Anti-Shariah law marches. Why? Because it shows those taking part have no clue about the Constitution and that they fall for Alt-right fake news.
First, the first amendment. Yes alt right militia morons there is more Amendments than the second Amendment. The same amendment that allows you to march and to display your racism is the same one that undercuts your reason for your March of Ignorance. The First Amendment prevents the government from sanctioning any religion or implementation of religious laws so you can quit worrying about Muslims taking over and forcing you to abide shariah law. Cannot happen, will not happen despite what you read on Breitbart or heard on Infowars. The courts will not allow the Ten Commandments be posted in government facilities so why would they allow shariah law? By the way, part of Shariah Law is made up of the Ten Commandments, so in a way you are under Shariah law, enjoy.
Now let's address your falling for fake news saying Shariah law was being implemented in some city, according to articles you read on line. The articles are normally targeted to people in the south saying that Shariah is being implemented in Detroit or other city. And who can forget that President Obama was going to implement Shariah Law and destroy America because he was a secret Muslim. All those articles were proven false but since you believe your idiot Breitbart and InfoWars you remain ignorant. Keep drinking that Orange Koolaid and worship at the altar of Fox News and Donald Trump. By the way, If you weigh the statistical possibilities of Shariah law being put in place and Russia having a tape with Trump and Russian prostitutes, the gold shower tape clears the bar in high heels while your bogus Shariah worries don't get off the ground.
I bet you want to call me a libtard, socialist, anti-American or whatever,  Feel free. I have to tell you something first, I am a 11 veteran of the USN submarine service. I am a disabled veteran. I am pro second Amendment but I do believe that the mentally should not own guns and many of you racist paranoids should not either. I am Christian and have been one since a child. I was raised in the south and taught to love my country.  I know the constitution front to back and the history behind it. I have a cousin who is Muslim and therefore I learned a little about Islam, more than you marching for racism morons. Have I upset you yet? Feel free to leave your childish comments. And yes, I voted for  Hillary Clinton instead of your fake spray tan god, Donald "I work for Putin and love golden showers" Trump.