Litigate to Cover Incompetence; US Navy

Posted by  $  Thoritsu 10 months, 1 week ago to Government
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Here we have the US Navy attempting to cover gross incompetence with legal suits, and perhaps saber rattle to avoid carrying the burden for the damages they caused.
1. Large ship, poorer maneuverability = right of way over small, fast, maneuverable USN destroyer
2. Captain and deck officers relieved and punished
3. USN training found inadequate, and new qualification programs instituted

Completely pathetic USN behavior.

Then comes the legal suits by the sailors against the shipping company. Of course they can't cash in against the USN. $5.5M for psychological pain and suffering?

Gross incompetence. Irresponsibility. Fraud.
SOURCE URL: https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2018/08/21/one-year-later-mccain-sailors-and-families-locked-in-legal-battle-with-oil-tanker-owner/


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  • Posted by freedomforall 10 months, 1 week ago
    Although we don't have complete evidence, based upon the limited amount available, I agree with your conclusion, Thor.
    "They failed to keep proper lookouts, lacked trained mariners on the bridge in congested waters, never communicated with the McCain and at no time sounded a danger signal, veered away from the warship or followed the international rules of maritime transit,"
    The above quoted charge by the Navy against the shipping company is just as likely to be true against the Navy. Had the Naval charges been paying attention, they had the more agile ship and their watch should have seen the much larger tanker sooner than the tanker watch saw them. Based on limited data, the naval ship had the better chance to avoid the collision, but it appears the Naval personnel were negligent.
    (Just like Hitlery with the server and the BATF and FBI at Waco and a host of other cases of government incompetence that gets overlooked.)
    As for the sailor's legal suits, they are barking up the wrong money tree.
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  • Posted by ColHogan 10 months ago
    In order to appear more politically correct, the Navy has been advancing female and minority individuals more quickly than is prudent for safety and effectiveness.
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  • Posted by brkssb 10 months ago
    Check your premises. From the cited article:
    "The case began in February, when Energetic Tank’s attorneys filed a motion that sought to exonerate or limit the company’s liability in the fatal disaster. The pre-emptive move was designed to buffer the company against claims that had not yet been filed, according to court records. Two months later, the U.S. government sued, asserting that Alnic’s owners knew about the deficiencies aboard the tanker.”
    Further, the US Navy prosecuted the commanding officer of USS McCain, CDR Sanchez, who pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty, was reduced in rank to LCDR, fined $2000 per month for 3 months, and was required to retire. To some, it might seem the punishment doesn’t fit the crime (of negligence). To others, we debate accountability and responsibility of a ship’s commanding officer given the gross stupidity, laziness, and negligence of the watch standers who directly caused the collision. The commanding officer is thus held accountable for all actions, thoughts, deeds, and even crimes of those employed to accomplish a mission safely and successfully, even in harm’s way. Was he in fact grossly incompetent? Where is the fraud with intent to deceive?
    I read the abstract by “Thoritsu” and I read the entire Navy Times article. I find the abstract to be biased and inflammatory. Completely pathetic USN behavior???
    Yes, incompetence, irresponsibility, but fraud? Certainly not a cover up. More to the point, it might be taken as an indictment of the legal entanglements of the blame game with long-reaching impacts on taxpayers who foot the bill for extraordinary medical costs and those for repairs to the ships.
    Perhaps one should look to the “fraud” perpetuated on the American public by years of mismanaged appropriations, exorbitant prices, and the bilking of the taxpayer by the acquisition system which favors public policy over the right item at the right price at the right time. And yes, mention the collapse of education and training and leadership.
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    • Posted by  $  10 months ago
      Fraud might be too strong, and the container-ship may not have had their act together, but the fault for the collision lies squarely at the feet of the USN.

      It is worth pointing out that in addition to the destroyer being infinitely more maneuverable, with a far superior radar(s), the destroyer paints on radar like a ship a fraction of its size.

      The sailor's families have a lot of gall, suing the shipping company and so does the Navy. This is like suing an iceberg. The Navy is clearly at fault.
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      • Posted by brkssb 10 months ago
        I don’t dispute the finding of fault. — It is more likely that the lawyers have more gall than the families. —Regarding the Feres Doctrine: STATEMENT OF PAUL HARRIS, DEPUTY ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, WASHINGTON, D.C.:To begin, a brief explanation of the Feres doctrine and its underpinnings is in order. In Feres and its progeny, the Court has held that members of the armed services cannot sue the Federal Government or other service members or civilian Government em- ployees in tort for injuries that arise out of or are incurred in the course of activity incident to military service.
        The Feres Court relied upon three principal reasons in coming to its decision: First, the existence and availability of a separate, uniform, comprehensive, no-fault compensation scheme for injured military personnel; second, the effect upon military order, discipline, and effectiveness of its service members if service members were permitted to sue the Government or each other; and, third, the distinctively Federal relationship between the Government and the members of the armed services and the corresponding unfairness of permitting service-connected claims to be determined by non-uniform local tort law.
        I encourage those interested to read S. HRG. 107–977, THE FERES DOCTRINE: AN EXAMINATION OF THIS MILITARY EXCEPTION TO THE FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT, at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-10...
        It is also fascinating to read the cast of characters involved in this review of the doctrine. Please take note of the "First, the existence and availability of a separate, uniform, comprehensive, no-fault compensation scheme for injured military personnel”… I leave it to others to comment on that.
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  • Posted by  $  mminnick 10 months ago
    It remindes me of the old jke about athe lighthouse and the aircraft carrier.
    "Carrier sents message to lighted object bearing XXX fromme. Please change course. you are on collision course with us.
    Reply: You must change course to avoid collision.
    Carrier: This is Adm Jones. Change corse Nw the is USN 767 and aircraft carrier.
    Reply: This is Coastguards Ensign Murphy in charge of Lighthouse Able. Change Course now.

    You get the drift of what is meant by the joke. It is what is maneuverable and what isn't Not sure an Oil tanker = Light house but the effect is nearly the same.
    There are truly some idiots driving ships. (yes I know you don't really drive a ship, but you should see some captains try.
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    • Posted by  $  allosaur 10 months ago
      Before me dino scrolled down this far, I was going to say--well, I still am~that I've seen tons of war movies in which American and/or Japanese destroyers will be whipping about into tight turns usually during submarine hunts.
      Me dino also knows for a freaking fact that huge heavy hulking freighters can in no way whip about into turns like a destroyers can.
      Conclusion: For a United States Nay destroyer with its state of the art technology to strike a freighter can only be blamed on its captain and crew~most especially on the captain.
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      • Posted by KevinSchwinkendorf 10 months ago
        Allosaur, I agree with most of your comment, but you mentioned that the US Navy destroyer struck the freighter. As is clearly seen in the photo of the destroyer at the top of the article, the damage to the destroyer was in the port side (left side of the ship if you are looking forward, for any land-lubber readers out there), near the stern (rear end of the ship). The freighter clearly struck the destroyer. Now, every other thing you said is absolutely correct. Given the proximity of the ships immediately before the collision, the destroyer had the ability to increase speed (to "dodge" the collision) or some other maneuver. The destroyer is an Arleigh Burke Aegis guided-missile vessel, and is powered by gas turbine engines which should provide rapid acceleration abilities comparable to a sports car (that is, it is NOT an older steam propulsion system where changes in speed are delayed due to having to increase steam, etc.). The destroyer should have been able to take evasive action, but the freighter still hit the destroyer. Its almost like, in some states, if you read-end someone with your car, you are guilty - period. It doesn't matter (legally) that the jerk pulled up beside you at a high rate of speed, cut you off, then jammed on his brakes (prove it!). This might be a similar case, but I'm not a lawyer...
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        • Posted by  $  allosaur 10 months ago
          Maybe my writing was careless. All I was trying to say is that the destroyer's command was clearly at fault no matter how any destructive contact was made.
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          • Posted by KevinSchwinkendorf 10 months ago
            Sure, no big deal. I agree 100%. The destroyer should have been able to maneuver out of the way, had they been paying attention. In safety analysis, its amazing how some accidents happen. I'm reminded of an airliner crash where the pilot and the co-pilot were on final approach to the runway, but became obsessed with some warning light that was on and they knew it was a false alarm, and were trying to figure out why it was one, and were thus distracted from their primary reason for existence at the time, which was to FLY THE PLANE! Unfortunately, they came in too low and their landing gear clipped the tops of the trees next to the airport. This was documented and used as an example of lack of paying attention to detail in safety meetings I've attended. Amazing why some things happen...
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        • Posted by  $  10 months ago
          Definitely not. The freighter had right of way, due to tonnage and more limited maneuverability. Sailboats similarly have right of way over similarly-sized motor boats. As I noted above, the destroyer has over 100:1 more maneuvering capability than the freighter. The destroyer can almost turn 180 in it's own length. The freighter would be lucky to turn 180 in a half mile.
          http://www.shipsbusiness.com/turning-...

          Yes, it hit the destroyer. No, it was not at fault. Not the same as rear ending in a car.
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        • Posted by  $  nickursis 10 months ago
          Kevin, you are correct, the OOD was junior and froze up, and the senior enlisted did not take aggressive action why is still in debate, some say the morale was bad, and they were more hoping to scare some people into realizing what a mess the crew was. That was one take but it does not justify endangering a ship and crew. This was not the only ship with issues, that's why they started killing off the senior officers, but the overall quality is pretty dismal.
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      • Posted by  $  10 months ago
        Destroyer has two shafts, 100,000 hp, and controllable pitch propellers (can reverse the pitch of either to stop on a dime, or turn). These can really maneuver, and stop from flank in 4-5 ship lengths. They displace about 9,500 tonnes.

        Cargo ship has single shaft, and usually about 25,000 hp, and displace over 100,000 tonnes (largest are almost 200,000 tonnes). These can't turn for anything.

        One quarter the power, over ten times the weight, single shaft vs two and FPP vs CPP. This is a minimum of 100:1 in maneuverability. Even if the freighter was trying to hit the destroyer, it should be as impossible as a 70 year old, 300 lb woman trying to hit Sugar Ray Leonard...unless he was missing his faculties.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 10 months ago
    The article fails to mention the training of the crew of the Alnic. Almost all of the commercial vessels are foreign crewed. Many have European officers commanding third world country deck crews. Like US maritime officers, European officers would have gone through some type of land-based schooling then sea training. Third world deck has no such training.
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  • Posted by  $  nickursis 10 months ago
    Well, when you read the findings, there was a lot of damning evidence against the crew of the Navy ship, and there was some neglegince on the part of the civilian ship. My take is about an 80-20 split, with the Navy getting the most. However, no real mention was made of the state of the military BHO left, the fact that upper management (officers) are more interested in their advancement, vice the ship and crew, and that the whole Pac Fleet training program was essentially non existent. Of course you had a ship that had a weapons system to kill multiple targets and track and identify them, and they could not decide that a 0 bearing rate contact was a threat in time to avoid. The OOD was a real piece of work, he neglected to call the Captain, despite standing orders to do so, the enlisted people failed to scream and shout that they were going to get run over. I saw in the early 90's (before I left the zoo the military was becoming) that we were getting officers who were less intelligent than some of the enlisted men I worked with, and also had no common sense. Many times I had to go to control as a sonar supervisor to explain to the OOD just what was really up. I was able to bring a Trident to periscope depth in the midst of a large fishing trawler group, because we had to send a message, and the Captain was on the conn, we did a few maneouvers to get bearing rates on contacts, and he jibbed me because I called the nearest boat at 3000 yds and he saw it at 2500 and took a radar bearing to it, and it was at 2725. He just said, "You need to practice with the widget more" and grinned at me. (The widget was a bearing rate slide rule that cost about 12.00 from supply and did as good a job of solving for course, speed and range as a multi million dollar fire control system). These guys should have had ample time and information, but they were also dead on their feet, and things like this happen when you do not have a unified crew from top to bottom, all working together for the ship. The Navy made the mess, and of course can get away with it, just like government does. These lawsuits are just part of the legalistic social order that has been created to enrich lawyers at everyone's expense. This will go on for years and they will settle for 25K apiece if they are lucky and the lawyers will take 80% of that....
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