Words of Advice:

“Stand back and stand by.”— Trump’s orders to American Nazis, 9/29/2020

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

That Was Foreseeable; BHR Ed.

The Navy decided to scrap the amphibious assault ship that burned for nearly five days earlier this year, concluding after months of investigations that trying to rebuild and restore the ship would take too much money and too much industrial base capacity.

The July 12 fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) began in the lower vehicle storage area but ravaged the island, the mast and the flight deck as it burned its way through the inside of the big-deck amphib. The ship remained watertight throughout the ordeal and hasn’t been moved from its spot on the pier at Naval Base San Diego, but between the fire itself and the days-long firefighting effort, about 60-percnet of the ship was ruined and would have had to be rebuilt or replaced, Rear Adm. Eric Ver Hage, the commander of Navy Regional Maintenance Center and the director of surface ship maintenance and modernization, told reporters [yesterday] in a phone call.

Three main options were considered: rebuild and restore the ship to its original function of moving Marines and their gear around for amphibious warfare; rebuild the ship to a new configuration for a new mission, such as a submarine or surface ship tender or a hospital ship; or decommission and scrap the ship.

Ver Hage said restoring Bonhomme Richard to its original form would have cost between $2.5 billion and $3.2 billion and taken five to seven years. That work would have taken place in the Gulf Coast, he said.

Rebuilding the ship for a new purpose would have cost “in excess of a billion dollars” and also taken about five to seven years. Though cheaper than rebuilding to the original configuration, Ver Hage said it would be cheaper to just design and build a new tender or hospital ship from scratch.

Decommissioning the ship – and the inactivation, harvesting of parts, towing and scrapping the hull – will cost about $30 million and take just nine to 12 months.

I sort of call bullshit on the options. The destroyer tenders have been gone for a very long time (it was a stupid move to scrap them). The two sub tenders (USS Emory S. Land and USS Frank Cable) are both over forty years old. Other than Trump trying to gin up support in Alabama last summer by proposing to shower the state with shipbuilding contracts, I know of no serious proposal to replace the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort, let alone build a new fleet of tenders.

But that the Navy was not going to scrap the BHR was likely never seriously in doubt.


0_0 said...

oops, just commented elsewhere-

What ticks me off is that nobody is going to be held accountable. Especially the policymakers in charge who make the decisions that lead to this stuff.

Comrade Misfit said...

0_0, they'll hold somebody accountable. the squid who set the fire. The Chief Engineer, the Damage Control Assistant, and the Captain, for allowing now-known-to-be unsafe levels of crap to accumulate on the vehicle deck.

0_0 said...

What I have read is that the ship was entirely in the civilian shipyard's control, leaving no poor blueshirt to blame.
After the Iowa tragedy and most other investigations, I have no confidence in Big Navy (or any gov't body) performing a real investigation.

Comrade Misfit said...

Unless the ship had been decommissioned, the commanding officer is always responsible.

0_0 said...