Showing posts with label US Navy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US Navy. Show all posts

April 28, 2020

What is The Future of This Virus-Stricken US Aircraft Carrier






 
(AP) — While the fate of its former captain remains unclear, the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, sidelined in Guam with a coronavirus outbreak, is inching toward getting healthy and returning to sea duty.
The top Navy officer has recommended reinstating Capt. Brett Crozier, who was fired by the then-acting Navy secretary, but Defense Secretary Mark Esper wants more time to review the matter. When Esper would make a decision or whether the White House might get involved remains unclear.
Meanwhile, most Roosevelt sailors are wrapping up weeks of quarantine as the ship prepares for its journey back to sea. 
A look at what’s happening with the Roosevelt and what lies ahead:
 Background
Crozier was fired April 2 after sending an email to several naval officers warning about the growing virus outbreak on his ship and asking permission to isolate most of his crew on shore. 
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Crozier “demonstrated extremely poor judgment” and fired him. Modly then flew out to the ship, and in remarks to the crew, condemned Crozier, saying the captain may have been too naive or stupid to command the ship. Modly later apologized and resigned.
Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations, met with Esper on Friday, laying out the results of a Navy investigation and his recommendation that Crozier return to the ship as captain.
THE CAPTAIN
The return of the popular Crozier would boost the crew’s morale. It also would be a high-profile condemnation of Modly’s judgment. He was a political appointee of President Donald Trump, but was never nominated to become the permanent secretary.
Trump has both criticized and empathized with Crozier, saying he never should have written the emailed letter but that his career should not be destroyed for having “one bad day.”
Crozier, 50, is a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He had been reported to have the virus but is thought to be recovering on Guam. His interim replacement, Capt. Carlos Sardiello, had previously commanded the Roosevelt but could head to a new assignment if Crozier returns.
The actions and judgment of Crozier are not the only issues Navy leaders have examined.
A preliminary inquiry conducted by the No. 2 Navy officer, Adm. Robert Burke, also considered a wider sequence of events that took place before the outbreak on the ship, including its visit to a Vietnamese port. It’s unclear whether the virus was picked up there or by other means such as air crews that operated off the carrier during its deployment. The Navy has said the decision to make the port visit was by Adm. Phil Davidson, head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. 
IN QUARANTINE
More than 4,000 Roosevelt crew members have been moved ashore and are going through quarantine.
They’ve been prohibited from posting details about their confinement, but some sailors and their family members have talked freely about their quarantine in gyms, hotel rooms and other facilities around the island. 
Sailors testing positive were put in gyms lined with cots, and they are checked by medical staff twice a day. Others are in hotel rooms set aside for the Navy, and public access is restricted. Internet access in some places can be spotty, and food was limited early on but has improved. Sailors read, watch movies and can walk around outside, as long as they stay within quarantine zones. Crew members communicate on a private Facebook page.
GETTING THE CREW HEALTHY
As of Monday, 955 crew members have the virus, one sailor is hospitalized and 14 have recovered. 
Sailors must have two successive negative tests before they are considered virus-free. Only then could they begin moving back to the ship.
Crew on the Roosevelt have been cleaning the ship, space by space, and then cordoning off clear areas. No sailors have yet returned to the ship. They’ll eventually come back in large waves, go to clean sections and take over running the ship. Those who have remained on the Roosevelt to keep it secure and monitor its nuclear reactor will then go ashore for quarantine. 
When the ship is deemed virus free, it can then head back to sea.
GETTING UNDERWAY
U.S. officials won’t say how long it will take for the ship to return to duty, but it has been docked in Guam for about a month, and could be there another three to four weeks. In order to get back to sea, the ship will have to go through a regimented recertification process.
The flight deck — from the pilots to the crews and the system operators — has to be recertified. Pilots will have to log flight hours and conduct a certain number of take-offs and landings from the carrier. Crews on the flight deck who direct the air traffic and those who operate the sensors and radars have to ensure everything runs right. Those checks could take several days.
The biggest question is where will the Roosevelt go. Originally it was slated to be at sea for months, then participate in a large Pacific naval exercise before heading home to San Diego.
Now Navy leaders have to decide whether to just send the beleaguered crew home or keep it out for a bit. The USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group based in Japan could get underway in coming weeks, as could the USS Nimitz, based in Bremerton, Washington.
The Nimitz pulled out for routine predeployment exercises Monday and likely will be out training for about a month.
AND THEN THERE’S THE USS KIDD
As the Navy struggles to get one virus outbreak under control, another is bubbling up.
As of Monday, 47 sailors on the USS Kidd have tested positive. Two were evacuated to the U.S. and another 15 with symptoms were transferred to another ship for monitoring. The Kidd, a naval destroyer that had been doing counter-drug operations off South America, is heading to port in San Diego.
The ship has a crew of about 350, and about 45 percent have been tested for the virus so far.
___
Associated Press writer James LaPorta contributed to this report.

April 12, 2020

COVID-19 Has Sidelined a Modern AirCraft Carrier


 USS Theodore Roosevelt


There are now 550 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt that have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the US Navy.

On Saturday, 100 new cases from the carrier were reported, accounting for 75% of the Navy's total coronavirus cases worldwide.

Over 90% of sailors from the aircraft carrier have been tested so far and 3,696 have been moved ashore.

The ship's captain was removed from service earlier this month after his letter begging the Navy to take swifter action leaked to the press. 

The number of sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt who have tested positive for coronavirus rose by 100 Saturday afternoon, CNN first reported. A total of 550 cases have now been linked to the ship.

The aircraft carrier, which is crewed by roughly 4,800 sailors, has been dealing with a coronavirus outbreak since three sailors tested positive on March 24. Over 3,000 of the sailors were taken ashore in Guam Friday and over 90% have been tested, according to the US Navy.

Cases linked to the USS Theodore Roosevelt now account for 75% of cases in the entire Navy.

Capt. Brett Crozier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt's commanding officer, was removed from his post on April 2 after a letter in which he urged the Navy to take decisive action to evacuate the carrier's crew had been leaked.

"The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating," Crozier wrote in his letter. "Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors." 

Crozier's removal sparked outrage both within the Navy and throughout the US. Former Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly, the officer who removed Crozier, apologized and stepped down from his position Tuesday amid widespread backlash.

Morale has dipped in the wake of the episode, US Navy Vice Adm. Bill Merz told CNN Friday.

"There was lots of anxiety about the virus," Merz said. "I think we could have told them earlier what we knew ... I think we could have at least brought them in earlier and started having this dialogue up front."

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April 1, 2020

Aircraft Carrier Captain's Plead For Help on Coronavirus Taking Over His Sailors



 Credit...EPA, via Shutterstock




The captain of an American aircraft carrier deployed to the Pacific Ocean has pleaded with the Pentagon for more help as a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship continues to spread, officials said Tuesday. Military officials say dozens of sailors have been infected.

In a four-page letter, first reported by The San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday, Capt. Brett E. Crozier of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt laid out the dire situation unfolding aboard the warship, with more than 4,000 crew members, and what he said were the Navy’s failures to provide him with the proper resources to combat the virus by moving sailors off the vessel.

“We are not at war,” Captain Crozier wrote. “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.”

The carrier is currently docked in Guam.

Captain Crozier recommended offloading his entire crew, and then quarantining and testing them while the ship was professionally cleaned. But that proposal raised a series of issues, especially as housing more than 4,000 people while also isolating them would be extremely difficult on the island. 

The crisis aboard the Roosevelt played out like a slow-moving disaster and highlights the dangers to the Pentagon if the coronavirus manages to infiltrate some of its most important assets, such as bomber fleets, elite Special Operations units and the talisman of American military power, aircraft carriers.

In a statement, a Navy official said that the commanding officer of the Roosevelt “alerted leadership in the Pacific Fleet on Sunday evening of continuing challenges in isolating the virus.”

“The ship’s commanding officer advocated for housing more members of the crew in facilities that allow for better isolation,” the statement said. “Navy leadership is moving quickly to take all necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of the crew of U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, and is pursuing options to address the concerns raised by the commanding officer.”

At its core, the issue on the Roosevelt, and other warships, stems from the near impossibility of putting adequate social distance between people to stop the spread of the illness. Living quarters, hallways and doorways are cramped. Bathrooms and cafeterias are shared areas.

In his letter, Captain Crozier clearly outlined the challenge. “None of the berthing aboard a warship is appropriate for quarantine or isolation,” he wrote. 

A senior Navy official on Sunday sought to play down the urgency of the situation on the Roosevelt, saying that while it was unfortunate, most of the reported symptoms at that point among the sickened sailors and other crew members had been mild.

Last week, Thomas B. Modly, the acting Navy secretary, told reporters that three cases of the virus had been reported aboard the Roosevelt, marking the first time a U.S. Navy ship had announced a coronavirus infection at sea.

Fifteen days earlier, the ship made a port call in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Mr. Modly defended the ship’s decision to dock in Vietnam despite the spread of the virus through Asia. He said that, at the time, coronavirus cases in Vietnam were less than 100 and located in the north of the country, around Hanoi. Port calls for U.S. Navy ships have since been canceled.

Maj. Gen. Jeff Taliaferro, the vice director of operations with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged on Monday that there had been media reports about coronavirus aboard the Roosevelt. He declined to go into details for security reasons, he said.

But, echoing a line that the military has consistently taken during the course of the pandemic, General Taliaferro insisted that the Roosevelt can nonetheless perform its missions. If the Roosevelt, in Guam right now, had to sail immediately, General Taliaferro told reporters on a conference call, it was “ready to sail.”

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

March 28, 2020

Coronavirus is so Strong it Took an Aircraft Carrier Out of Commission









 The Navy is pulling one of its aircraft carriers out of commission on the U.S. territory of Guam to test the entire 5,000-person crew for coronavirus, after at least 23 sailors tested positive, Navy officials say.

It’s the latest sign that the pandemic that has overloaded hospitals and brought the global economy to a halt is also starting to take a toll on military operations, even as the civilian authorities increasingly turn to the Pentagon for emergency assistance. 

As of Thursday, the Pentagon has said that 574 Defense Department personnel had been confirmed as having the virus, including 280 service members and the first case at the Pentagon itself — a quadrupling from the week before.

The carrier taken out of commission was the USS Theodore Roosevelt, one of 11 active carriers in the Navy fleet.

Officials have downplayed any impact of the outbreak on military readiness.

In a statement provided to VICE News, Adm. Mike Gilday, the top admiral in the Navy, said officials were “confident” the carrier would be “able to respond to any crisis in the region.”

But military leaders have also taken extraordinary steps to ensure the outbreak won’t continue to spread, including suspending participation in a number of major exercises that were planned in Europe and Africa.

On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced he was putting a freeze on all military travel and troop rotations for 60 days — a significant departure in tone from the plans announced this week by the White House to “reopen” the economy by Easter. Esper also acknowledged this week for the first time that the virus “may have some impact on readiness,” but assured it would not affect vital operations.

Christine Wormuth, a senior fellow at the RAND Corporation, and a former under secretary of defense for policy, said there’s no way for these changes to not have some impact.

“A lot of what our military forces do both here and overseas is to train so that they stay ready,” she said. “It's the first time I’ve seen the U.S. take enterprise-wide steps in a health event to try to preserve the health of the force so that it can do its job.”


The Navy is emerging as a central focus of the concerns. Naval vessels — not unlike cruise ships — are easy targets for infections, and sailors are accustomed to powering through the low-level respiratory illnesses common to warships, making it harder to stop something like the coronavirus before it spreads.

In 2009, a Veterans Affairs study of an H1N1 outbreak on a naval ship found that after four sailors contracted the bug during a Fleet Week visit to New York, 135 more on the USS Iwo Jima eventually came down with it. The ship was able to continue operations until docking at its home port a few months later. 

Rick Hoffman, a retired Navy captain who commanded two ships during his career, told VICE News that an outbreak on board is “a captain's worst nightmare. There's nothing worse — a fire at sea or an outbreak.”

“We've effectively taken 10% of our aircraft carrier fighting force out of commission.”

“We've effectively taken 10% of our aircraft carrier fighting force out of commission because of a few cases, and it'll be two to three weeks before we know that we've solved it,” he said. Hoffman also said that any pause in the operations of a ship like an aircraft carrier has impacts on the crew’s proficiency. “If I shut down the ship, then every bit of its combat-readiness begins to degrade immediately.”

Mark Cancian, a former Defense Department official and Marine Corps colonel who’s now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said he’s less concerned about the short-term fallout of one carrier being out of commission than about what’s yet to come.

“It’s the next step that's really worrisome,” Cancian said. “The fact that you've got a few sailors evacuated, that's manageable; the fleet’s still doing its thing. What will worry me is when you stop deploying ships, or you pull them back to the U.S. because of sickness and infection on board.”

Cancian added, “If they actually shut down Navy boot camp — because 25% of the military turns over every year — and if you stop the input for any length of time, then the military starts getting under strain.”

December 16, 2019

The Navy Kicked Out Harvey Milk For being Gay, Today The Navy Builds Ship to Harvey Milk for Being Gay




Image result for harvey milk and the navy ship
 Harvey Milk joined the United States Navy during the Korean War. He served aboard the submarine rescue ship USS Kittiwake (ASR-13) as a diving officer. He later transferred to Naval Station, San Diego to serve as a diving instructor. In 1955, he was discharged from the Navy at the rank of lieutenant.
                      

Image result for harvey milk and the navy ship
 The USS Harvey Milk
                                


                               Image result for harvey milk and the navy ship







 
SAN DIEGO —  Construction began Friday on the future Harvey Milk, a fleet oiler named for the slain gay rights leader and the first openly gay man elected in the state.
Milk was elected to the San Francisco board of supervisors in 1978 and was assassinated 10 months later by an ex-supervisor. His life was the subject of the 2008 film “Milk.”

Almost 30 years before his election, Milk was a Naval dive officer based in San Diego. His nephew, Stuart Milk, attended Friday’s event and said naming the ship after his uncle sends a message to people around the world.

"(This) sends a global message of inclusion more powerful than simply ‘We’ll tolerate everyone,’” Milk said. "(It says) We celebrate everyone.” 

Milk said his uncle was forced to resign from the Navy in the 1950s after being caught in a San Diego park popular with gay men. To be honored now with a ship showed how much things have changed, he said.

Stuart Milk was speaking at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, where the ship is being built. He was joined by NASSCO representatives and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, State Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Assemblyman Todd Gloria, and San Diego City Councilman Chris Ward.

Gloria told the Union-Tribune that progress for gay and lesbian service members has been swift.

“I was a congressional staffer when we were working to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ and you think about how difficult a challenge that was,” he said, refers to the military’s ban on out LGBT service members that were repealed in 2010. 
 
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“Today the Navy’s constructing a ship named after the first openly gay elected official in California,” he said. “It shows the progress we’re making and a deepening of the commitment the military has to include gay and lesbian service members.”

Nicole Murray Ramirez, the chairman and executive director of the San Diego International Imperial Court Council, an LGBT organization, was a leader in the push to name a vessel after Milk.

“When ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was lifted, I researched, and one guy picks all these (ship) names — the Secretary of the Navy,” Ramirez said.

His organization, which has chapters nationwide, organized a national letter-writing campaign in 2011 to push then-Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to name a ship for Milk.

Fleet oilers like the future Harvey Milk are used to replenish fuel oil and dry goods to Navy ships at sea. The Milk will be the second ship in the new John Lewis class of fleet oilers. The future John Lewis, named for the civil rights leader and congressman, also is being built at NASSCO San Diego.

Kathy Baker, a logistics engineer with 45 years at NASSCO, got to make the ceremonial first cut of steel for the ship. She said it was the first time she’d been selected to do so.

“I was shocked,” she said. “I was honored. Felt all the time, effort and hard work I put in all these years were appreciated.”

While the naming of Harvey Milk is a sign of progress, Gloria said, there is still work to be done. Under President Donald Trump, transgender people are banned from military service.

Stuart Milk told the Union-Tribune his uncle dreamed of a day when members of his community would be accepted, and he knew his advocacy would result in his death.

“I think people should know it’s not Hollywood — he did know that he was going to be killed,” Milk said of his uncle. “He didn’t know who, and he didn’t know when, but it gave him the courage to continue doing what he was doing.”

Stuart Milk carries on his uncle’s work as the founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation. He said Friday’s ceremony was fulfilled one of Harvey Milk’s dreams.

“He dreamed of a day like today, when not only would we have the military honoring LGBT, but we have a mayor from the Republican party and we have everyone that represents the San Diego community coming out,” Milk said. “This would have been un-dreamable for people back in 1978.”

November 22, 2017

Navy Plane Crashes Into Pacific





Eight people have been found alive and are in "good condition" after a U.S. Navy plane with 11 aboard crashed into the sea off Japan on Wednesday, the military said. 
The search and rescue for three other personnel continue, the Navy said
"Our entire focus is on finding all of our sailors," Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton said in a statement, adding that the Navy "will be relentless in our efforts." 
The aircraft is believed to have crashed around 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa Island at about 2:45 p.m. local time (12:45 a.m. ET) while on the way to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. 
Eight of the 11 Navy personnel were rescued some 45 minutes later before being transferred to the ship for medical evaluation. The aircraft carrier, which is in the Philippine Sea, is part of the Japan-based 7th Fleet.

Search and rescue efforts were being conducted by the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships and aircraft. The names of the crew and passengers were being withheld pending next of kin notification. 
The aircraft was taking part in an ongoing U.S.-Japan naval exercise off the coast of Okinawa in which some 14,000 U.S. personnel were participating. 
The annual exercise is "designed to increase the defensive readiness and interoperability of Japanese and American forces through training in air and sea operations," a statement on the event said earlier this month.  
The plane was conducting a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to USS Ronald Reagan at the time of the crash, according to the Navy. 
The aircraft's role included the transport of high-priority cargo, mail, duty passengers and distinguished visitors between USS Ronald Reagan and shore bases throughout the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia, the statement added. 
The Navy said the incident would be investigated. 
The crash comes at a time when the Navy's 7th fleet and the U.S. Pacific Command have come under increased scrutiny after two deadly collisions in Asian waters this year left 17 sailors dead.
Image: A C-2A Greyhound
A C-2A Greyhound like this one went down in the sea off Japan. Stocktrek Images / Getty Images file
Seven U.S. sailors died when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan in June. Two months later in August another navy destroyer, USS John S. McCain, collided with an oil tanker near Singapore, leaving 10 sailors dead. 
In the wake of the accidents, eight top Navy officials were removed from their posts, including the 7th Fleet commander. After the second collision, the Navy ordered the entire fleet to take a one-day “operational pause” to ensure that the ships were meeting safety standards. 
The Navy said a family assistance center have been set up. Families living on base in Japan can contact 315-243-1728, while families living in the U.S. can call +81-468-16-1728. 
by   and 

November 19, 2017

Another 7 Fleet Destroyer Loses Propulsion, Tug Boat Crashes Into It in Japan's Sagami Bay

U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS Benfold in Qingdao, China in 2016.

U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold in Qingdao, China in 2016.
In the latest of a string of marine mishaps, a U.S. warship crashed into a Japanese tugboat in Japan’s Sagami Bay on Saturday.
The tugboat lost propulsion and drifted into the USS Benfold during a routine towing exercise, according to a press release from the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet. No injuries or fatalities resulted from the incident, and damage to the Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer ship, was minimal, according to the release.
While the crash was relatively harmless, it adds to a troubling trend for the 7th Fleet: Saturday’s collision in the Pacific was the fleet’s fifth this year. Most recently, in August, the USS John S. McCain collided with a commercial boat off the coast of Singapore, killing 10 U.S. sailors, taking the warship out of commission and prompting a fleet-wide operational pause.  The Benfold, on the other hand, sustained only minor scrapes on its sides. It remains on the water and autonomously powered, though the Navy news release says the incident will be fully investigated. 


August 29, 2017

Navy Recovers The Bodies of All 10 Sailors Missing of USS John S.McCain


The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain moored pier side at Changi naval base in Singapore.
[Photo Grady T. Fontana/AP]
The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet announced Sunday that the remains of all 10 missing sailors from the USS John S. McCain have been recovered.
The remains were recovered from the ship's flooded compartments by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers. The Navy has released the identities of the sailors.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer collided with the Liberian-flagged commercial tanker Alnic MC before dawn local time last Monday, in waters east of the Strait of Malacca and Singapore. The incident is under investigation.
The waterway is one of the world's most congested shipping lanes. After the collision, the McCain proceeded to Singapore under its own power.
This is the fourth mishap this year involving a U.S. Navy warship in the Far East.
In June the USS Fitzgerald, another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer with the 7th Fleet, collided with a merchant's vessel off the coast of Japan, killing seven sailors. In January the 7th Fleet's Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground near Yokosuka, Japan, where the fleet is based.


In May another Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, the 3rd Fleet's USS Lake Champlain, collided with a fishing boat in international waters off the Korean Peninsula.
The commander of the 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, was relieved of command last Wednesday, only weeks before his scheduled retirement.

MARK KATKOV
NPR

August 22, 2017

Admiral Orders Fleet Wide Investigation After Four Accidents in Asia Within 1 yr



Damage to the port side of the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is visible as the ship steers toward Changi Naval Base in Singapore following an early-morning collision Monday morning. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/U.S. Navy)
The Navy’s top admiral on Monday ordered a fleetwide review of seamanship and training in the Pacific after the service’s fourth major accident at sea this year, following a collision of the USS John S. McCain off Singapore that left 10 sailors missing.
The collision, which occurred about 6:24 a.m. with an oil tanker three times the McCain’s size east of the Straits of Malacca, could be the Navy’s second deadly ship collision in two months. On June 17, the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided off the coast of Japan with a much heavier container ship, drowning seven sailors after a berthing compartment inside the ship flooded in less than a minute.
In addition, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel on May 9 off the Korean Peninsula, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground Jan. 31 in Tokyo Bay, near its homeport of Yokosuka, Japan.
Navy Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, ordered an “operational pause” and a deeper look at how the service trains and prepares its forces to operate around Japan, the Navy said in a statement. 
“The review will include, but not be limited to trends in operational tempo, performance, maintenance, equipment, and personnel,” the statement said. “It will also focus on surface warfare training and career development, including tactical and navigational proficiency. The investigative team will be diverse, including people from across the Navy (both officer and enlisted), and experts from outside the Navy — other services, and the private sector — to help ensure we are not missing anything.”

August 21, 2017

USS McCain Destroyer Collides with Merchant Ship 10 Sailors Missing



 USS McCain

A search and rescue mission is underway, the Navy says, after the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant's vessel on Monday.
"The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore," the Navy said in a statement.
Ten sailors are missing and another five are injured.
The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. local time, on a routine visit to a Singapore port. "The ship is sailing under its own power and heading to port," the statement reads.  
Early investigation shows the destroyer "sustained damage to her port side aft," the Navy adds. It's unclear whether the Alnic MC, an oil and chemical tanker, or its crew were affected by the crash.
The Navy said USS America aircraft were assisting, in addition to the Singaporean tugboats and naval and coast guard vessels in the area.
It's the second accident involving a Navy ship and a cargo ship in recent months, after another destroyer collision in June killed seven sailors. After an investigation into the incident, the Navy relieved two of the ship's senior leaders last week due to inadequate leadership, while commending the crew.
NPR


A file image of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain. Picture: AFP
A file image of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain. Picture: AFP A US navy guided-missile destroyer is fighting flooding and a sea search has been mounted for ten missing sailors following a collision with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore earlier today, the second collision involving a US warship in as many months.
The Navy’s 7th Fleet command said the USS John S McCain collided with the Liberian-flagged merchant vessel Alnic MC around 5.24am (AEST 07.24am) as it headed to Singapore for a port visit.
The accident occurred near the Malacca Strait, one of the world’s busiest and most congested shipping lanes.
Five sailors were also injured in the collision, the US Navy said in a statement.
“Four of the injured were medically evacuated by a Republic of Singapore Navy Puma helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life threatening injuries. The fifth injured Sailor does not require further medical attention,” the statement said.
Search and rescue efforts are now underway for the missing sailors with helicopters and surveillance aircraft deployed from the amphibious assault ship USS America. Singapore and Malaysia have also sent ships and aircraft to the area to join the effort.


Ten sailors are missing and five injured after the McCain collided with a tanker east of Singapore.
Ten sailors are missing and five injured after the McCain collided with a tanker east of Singapore.
A US Navy official told CNN the USS John S McCain had experienced a loss of steering before the collision with the 30,000 ton, 600-foot long oil tanker but was steaming under its own power to port despite limited propulsion and electrical power.
Initial reports indicate the US ship sustained damage to its rear left side.
Just last week the US Navy took disciplinary action against a dozen sailors, including two senior commanders, from the USS Fitzgerald navy destroyer which collided on June 17 with a merchant ship, resulting in the deaths of seven US sailors.
The two top officers were relieved of their posts after a review found them guilty of “inadequate leadership”, and that the collision off the coast of Japan was “avoidable”.
In total the US navy has suffered four mishaps in the Pacific this year.
On May 9, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain was struck by a small fishing boat off the Korean Peninsula.
In late January, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground while trying to anchor in Tokyo Bay.
All four of the US warships are equipped with the Aegis missile defense system, which has been touted as a possible defense against any North Korean missile launch that might endanger US forces and US allies in Asia.
The USS John S. McCain, based at the US 7th Fleet’s homeport of Yokosuka, Japan, is named for the father and grandfather of US Senator John McCain, both of whom were US Navy admirals.
Shortly after this morning’s collision Senator McCain, a former captain in the US Navy, posted a message on Twitter expressing concern for the fate of the ship’s sailors.
“Cindy and I are keeping America’s sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight _ appreciate the work of search and rescue crews,” he tweeted.
Earlier this month, the 505 foot long McCain carried out a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea, sailing within six nautical miles of Mischief Reef, one of the artificial islands built by China in the Spratlys.
The ship has a crew of 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers, and 291 sailors

The Australian

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