Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"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

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, August 21, 2017

Collision at Sea, Again

Vessels from several nations are searching Southeast Asian waters for 10 missing U.S. sailors after an early morning collision Monday between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker ripped a gaping hole in the destroyer's hull.
I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that the impact appears to be that of a bulbous bow riding high in the water.

Collisions between warships and merchants were exceedingly rare. Two in a handful of months is a hell of a coincidence.


CenterPuke88 said...

Now three this year, plus a grounding. One early report said "McCain" had lost steering for an undisclosed period.

Nangleator said...

The way we should look at this, the way we should affix blame... is to imagine how it would have been viewed under President Obama.

So, obviously, President* trump did it personally in order to destroy this country for Radical Nazi Terrorism.

Ten Bears said...

Tech community has been hopping around flapping their wings like headless chickens since the middle of the night: it appears the rusekies have figured out how to spoof GPS systems.

I'm sure Micro$oft had nothing to do with it. Reasonably sure. Sort of.

CenterPuke88 said...

Thomas, the spoofing has been ongoing for a couple of years in Moscow, and was recently detected in the Black Sea, but...

Not sure how GPS spofing would impact this situation. The tanker could, theoretically, have been on a GPS controlled autopilot, but in those narrow and busy waters, that would be insane. The Navy ship was certainly not relying on GPS for collision avoidance, and the tanker isn't nimble enough to hunt down the "McCain". Besides which, the current GPS spoofing being tested by the Russians is relocational (moving ships in X area to Y location).

Spoofing, in general, has been theoretically possible for decades, and was first demonstrated at a "home-built" level in 2008. So, given that the better use for GPS spoofing is to direct a crop-duster to dump it's pesticide over a populated area. However, most pilots aren't suckers enough to believe the GPS saying you are over the field vs their eyes saying they are over a town...yet. When we start using drones to crop-dust, a combination of GPS spoofing and intercepting/modifying video feed might allow that to happen.

B said...

Comrade: you think it was deliberate? I mean, a tanker isn't a terribly manueverable platform, so how?

3383 said...

Those are crowded waters.
Anyone with sense and knowledge of what happens when your ship touches bottom or collides with another ship damn well ought to ensure the ship drivers are rested enough to remain alert. Overwork you people and they will try to be manly sailors and power through these evolutions, but they aren't as capable.

Comrade Misfit said...

B, no, I doubt if it was deliberate. As you say, tankers are not terribly maneuverable.

This is one where I'm not comfortable speculating.

BadTux said...

The GAO recently issued a report stating that undermanning was destroying crew effectiveness and morale. Tired crew make mistakes. Undermanned crews can't keep ahead of the maintenance tasks needed to keep the ship underway. Undermanned crews also don't have the "slack" to train new crew members in the tasks needed to keep the ship underway. The end result: Poorly maintained ships with crews that are bleary-eyed from lack of sleep and making way too many mistakes because of that.

No, we can't blame Obama, this is part of the "optimal manning" initiative that was started under Rumsfeld. And the Navy is even undermanned compared to the 6% cuts called for by "optimal manning", to the point where they're extending re-enlistment to people who wouldn't otherwise qualify in order to have enough bodies on the shps...

Comrade Misfit said...

Badtux, it was bad before Rummy began mucking around with "optimal manning". If the ship had a problem and people were up to work on it, then it's quite possible that some of the watchstanders on the rev watch (04-07) had very little sleep.

BT,DT Note that post is eight years old. Some things don't change.

BadTux said...

Yep, "Optimal manning" was instituted in 2004, 13 years ago, and is still the "thing" in the Navy, and was explicitly called out in the recent GAO report as one cause of sailors being overworked / tired / under-trained. And as you point out, ships weren't exactly overmanned even *before* "optimal manning" cut the manpower by 6% across the board on all Navy vessels.