US Navy: 7 missing sailors found inside damaged destroyer USS Fitzgerald, June 2017

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Hiandmighty, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Bently

    Bently Former Member

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    [video=cnn;us/2017/07/21/us-navy-at-fault-uss-fitzgerald-deadly-collision-starr-sot-newday.cnn]http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/21/politics/fitzgerald-initial-investigation-blames-navy/index.html[/video] Updated 9:56 AM ET, Fri July 21, 2017

    Article and video at http://www. cnn.com/2017/07/21/politics/fitzgerald-initial-investigation-blames-navy/index.html

    Initial investigation blames Navy for USS Fitzgerald collision

    "Preliminary findings in the investigation into the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine cargo ship off the coast of Japan in June suggest the accident was caused by multiple errors by the Fitzgerald's crew and a failure to take action in the minutes leading to the collision, according to two defense officials.
    "They did nothing until the last second," one official said. "A slew of things went wrong." A second official said the crash "will wind up being our (the US Navy's) fault."
    Both officials said the initial investigation found that the Fitzgerald crew failed to understand and acknowledge the cargo ship was approaching and failed to take any action necessary to avoid the collision. It's also not clear if the crew ever called the commanding officer to come to the bridge.
    The officials say investigators are also looking at the possibility that the ship was traveling at a higher speed than expected in order to reach a location it was due to arrive at the next next day.
    The preliminary findings will now be reviewed by the 7th Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin even as the investigation continues and they are likely to lead to recommendations about potential punishment. "
     
  2. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    Interesting. Looks like the investigation is going to show its the Fitzgerald's fault, and the Navy is owning it. But I am guessing we will not get to learn what was going on aboard the Fitzgerald that led to this disaster. Obviously some severe dereliction of duty.
     
  3. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Well-Known Member

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    I am not surprised to learn this. Not after reading a whole bunch of NTSB reports on maritime collisions. What really astounded me was the number of incidents in which it was not just one person who was derelict in their duty.

    There were numerous incidents where things like the radar operator had the radar set incorrectly AND the person on watch either "didn't see anything" or was "taking a break". Also several cases of mixing up port and starboard.
     
  4. Bently

    Bently Former Member

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  5. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Well-Known Member

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    "The commanding officer, executive officer and senior non-commissioned officer of the USS Fitzgerald have been removed from their duties for cause amid the fallout surrounding the deadly collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a cargo ship off the coast of Japan on June 17.

    "We've lost trust and confidence in their ability to lead in those positions and they will not return to the ship," Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran told reporters at the Pentagon late Thursday. The 7th Fleet also said several junior officers were relieved of duty.
    While the final investigation into the collision is ongoing, Moran said: "We do not have to have the investigation complete to start the process."

    The Fitzgerald's commanding officer, Cdr. Bryce Benson, and the executive officer, Cdr. Sean Babbiit, were both sleeping, and the master chief petty officer, Brice Baldwin, were not on the bridge at the time of the collision, according to the Navy."

    [video=cnn;us/2017/07/21/us-navy-at-fault-uss-fitzgerald-deadly-collision-starr-sot-newday.cnn]http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/17/politics/uss-fitzgerald-leadership-removed/index.html[/video]
     
  6. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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  7. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    I hadn't followed this story for quite some time. I saw the article about the CO waiving his hearing and looked around and found some other articles. I read about the 3 young Lts and their charges. The Officer of the Deck on the bridge pleaded guilty to a dereliction of duty charge and received several months reduced pay and reprimand. I think the other 2 are still pending. While it may see trivial that Lt. Coppock only got a few months reduced pay and letter of reprimand, I think it reflects a belief that she really was in a way set up to fail. All 3 young officers on duty were inexperienced, had poorly maintained equipment. I am also sure it will be a career ending reprimand. She isn't being discharged, but with that on her record, I would think promotion will be difficult. And in the military officer ranks, if you don't move up you move out. As for the other two, they were in the CIC, and apparently were aware that their radar was not showing all it should, but did nothing fix it. The bridge and the CIC literally were not communicating at all! Look, I wasn't in the Navy, I was in the Army. But I think I can still say that this whole thing is a result of poor maintenance, but mostly of poor training, poor training, poor training. That is not acceptable at any level.
     
  8. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    Two officers who faced negligent homicide charges for their role in the fatal June 2017 USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) collision have been recommended not to face court-martial and instead be separated from the Navy, according to a recommendation following a preliminary hearing last month.

    The report, following a May 9 Article 32 hearing, recommended Lt. Natalie Combs and Lt. Irian Woodley face a board of inquiry for administrative separation rather than a criminal trial for charges that include negligent homicide.

    In addition to Woodley and Combs, the former commander of Fitzgerald still faces charges that include dereliction of duty, negligent homicide and hazarding a vessel. Cmdr. Bryce Benson waived his Article 32 hearing and pledged to take his case to trial in a press statement last month.

    Cmdr. Alfredo Sanchez was sentenced to a punitive letter of reprimand and forfeiture of $6,000 in pay on May 25. As part of the plea agreement, he has requested to retire, and that request will be allowed or denied later in the accountability proceedings.

    Then-Chief Boatswain Mate Jeffery Butler pleaded guilty to one count of dereliction of duty on May 24 and was reduced in rank to E-6.

    In addition to the court-martials, 18 sailors who served on McCain and Fitzgerald have received non-judicial punishment.

    Navy Official Recommends No Criminal Trial for USS Fitzgerald Junior Officers - USNI News
     
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  9. dixiegirl1035

    dixiegirl1035 Well-Known Member

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    Where is the Fitzgerald now being repaired? I was in Norfolk Virginia last week and it was interesting to see the ships being repaired. And they do not show up when you search on the internet. I I know it must be on the west coast as they would not move it to the east coast, but just wondering where it was.
     
  10. KaaBoom

    KaaBoom `·.¸¸ ><((((º> ...·´`·.¸¸ ><((((º>...·

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  11. dixiegirl1035

    dixiegirl1035 Well-Known Member

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    "The transport transited the Pacific and arrived at the U.S. Gulf Coast via the Panama Canal, according to Naval Sea Systems Command"

    Whoa, I have been through the Panama Canal and I had no idea a ship that big could go through the canal! I know they're trying to widen the canal, but I did not think that had been finished.
     
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  12. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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  13. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    Was this the last of the Fitzgerald thread? I didn't see anything else and wondered if there was any follow up on what happened to the sailors charged.
     
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  14. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    The U.S. Navy is set to drop all criminal charges against two officers following the fatal collision that killed seven sailors aboard the USS Fitzgerald as the destroyer was on a secret mission.

    The decision ends a years-long legal battle in which the Navy blamed Cmdr. Bryce Benson and Lt. Natalie Combs, among others, for what it determined was an "avoidable" accident caused, in part, by numerous leadership failures. But the move is also likely to end their naval careers.

    Navy Drops Criminal Charges Against Officers In USS Fitzgerald Collision Case
     
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  15. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    Thanks. I had listened to a podcast the other night about a book coming out. It was very interesting so I thought I'd see what the latest was on the case. The podcast had detailed lots of interviews with many on the ships. The staggering lack of training and experience was just astounding. Lookouts are no longer posted to physically keep watch around the ship at night since crews are under staffed and technology is supposed to make it unnecessary. But many of the crew on duty that night either didn't know how to operate the equipment or the equipment wasn't functioning correctly. There were also other allegations that shouldn't be posted here. All of it a difficult pill to swallow for the families of the dead sailors.
     
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