USN Incident Reports: Where are they located?


#1

I have been following the USS Fitzgerald incident with interest. In a forum post, I saw a reference to the USS Porter collision in 2012: that caused me to search for an accident report on the 2012 event so I could see what was determined to be the cause (and to see if there were any parallels with the Fitzgerald) … without finding anything! Where are such reports to be found?

I know that the NTSB does publish a comprehensive list of non-military martime accidents, but searching the NTSB site did not bring forth very much relating to USN ship accidents.

As a private pilot, I follow the AOPA Safety Foundation reports, and also read the NTSB reports for GA incidents/acidents. Such reports are often a valuable source of advice on improving procedures and avoiding mistakes. It is relatively easy to find accident reports for US military aviation incidents, but I seem to be drawing a blank for anything related to USN ship related incidents.

While searching, I did discover that you can find reports for the Royal Navy ship related incidents fairly easily (from the national archives - which for older reports means a trip to the library at Kew: more recent boards of enquiry or courts martial reports are to be found online).

The only document I could find that detailed USN ship related incidents was a pdf from the Policy Studies Institute (obviously not a US Government agency!). It does make interesting reading, but does not mention a central source for information, in fact, it seems to imply that you have to be something of a sleuth to find out information relating to USN shipboard incidents.

It seems really strange that such information is not easily found and made available to help mariners learn lessons from such incidents, and hopefully avoid repeating mistakes in the future! Or am I just looking in the wrong place?


#2

Great question, I was wondering the same myself. I have a feeling many of these reports are in house for the USN only.
I would think due to embarrassment recently with several self induced engineering casualties, collisions such as the Porter, and groundings with the Guardian, Antietam, Port Royal, and a few more all just within the last 8 years they need to save face.