More respect for US Navy officers and enlisted personnel needed


OK. I"ll admit that, to say in an internet post: “Not to say that’s it’s not…” is a POOR way to say that something “IS”. Almost as bad as Bill Clinton under oath! I guess it’s more like something you’d say in face to face conversation, which has a lot more cues to meaning than a cold line of type!

So, YES, I DID mean that safe navigation IS necessary to the Navy’s mission. And in my further post I agreed with Diesel that “fundamental” was an even better choice of words to express what I was trying to say.

To maybe further explain my post, it wasn’t intended to grind the axe that “the Navy isn’t/can’t be concerned about safe navigation because it has a different mission.” Rather, it was mainly to share that interesting article, with a fascinating historical perspective (if you’re at all interested in Naval History) that appeared in the daily posts on the Naval Institute website.

I’m not sure, but it seemed to me that, in that article, the author, was trying to make the point that this “different mission” point of view of the Navy has adversely affected training and operational philosophy with respect to safety (of navigation and perhaps other things?). At least that was the point of the story about the RN’s disastrous loss of HMS Victoria in the 1890s and its possible echo at the Battle of Jutland.

Clearly, something’s wrong and needs to be fixed and, eventually it will be. Ordering the AIS transmit turned on in at least limited circumstances is one good step taken. In another thread here I posted some comments about the revival of the old idea of the “Sailing Master”, professional pilot/navigators. If the skipper and his ODs have too many other concerns to insure safe navigation, I personally think that sounds like a good idea.


The AIS issue is a red herring. All merchant ships are aware that warships are NOT REQUIRED to use AIS. There are a whole lot of small vessels that don’t transmit on AIS. But all vessels are REQUIRED to display steaming lights at night. It is therefore not possible for a merchant ship to avoid detecting the presence of a warship.
We have to wait for the investigation report to know the immediate cause and the root cause of the accidents.


I agree with you 100% JP. I wasn’t trying to be the grammar police with my post either…just emphasizing that a return to the basics was needed. lol


I think you should give it a rest.


There is a difference between Not Required and Nor Allowed. If it can save navy vessels from colliding and consequent damages, deaths and costs, it should be not just allowed, but required, at least in high traffic areas.

It is easy to miss a small radar target on a rainy and windy night, or to mistake it for a fishing vessel or any other small vessel.

It is also easy to miss the navigation lights on an otherwise darkened vessel, especially when there are a lot of background lights, or in busy waters with other vessels lite up like X-mas trees…

If the Navy prefer to be stealthy they should stay away from other vessels.






I beg to disagree on all counts.


COLREGs does not permit you to collide with a vessel just because she is smaller than others.

If there is too much backscatter and you are having difficulty in identifying vessels , then reduce your speed and increase the number of lookouts. Proceed with caution but don’t collide.

COLREGs got all situations covered. Remember “Conditions and circumstances”?


He never said it was allowed, just that it was “easy to miss”. Which is the truth and finally the Navy realized that and is broadcasting AIS.


The US Navy has decided to broadcast AIS under pressure from the armchair experts. IT IS NOT REQUIRED.

The basic problem is with the application of COLREGs.


Now there is at least something we can agree on. If the Navy could just understand how to apply the COLREGs and stop sneaking around, their problem would be solved, at least in part.

Reducing speed and increasing the number of lookout, preferable with somebody that know what they are looking at, would be a good advice for the Navy. It is not as easily done on a VLCC at sea speed and a small crew.

Since you are convinced that a stealthy warship, with only nav lights showing, is easy to detect under all circumstances, maybe you can explain why that same warship have a problem spotting a lumbering cargo ship twice its size (or more)??


Most merchant ships on sea speed are sailing on bridge control. Reduction of speed is a procedure written into the standing instructions.
Once again, the size of the ship is not a factor in the application of COLREGs.


All ships are required to show only the lights as per COLREGs and none other.
The masthead light should be visible at 6nm and the side lights at 3 nm. That is enough for visual detection and collision avoidance.
Stealth ships are only designed to reduce radar signature, not completely erase it. A small radar signature used in conjunction with electronic countermeasures helps a warship in deflecting incoming missiles.
I cannot really explain why the USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain could not avoid the collisions. You have to wait for the investigation reports.
However, I can say that a clear understanding and a strict adherence to COLREGs is necessary for OOWs. It is evident that a lot of navigators develop incorrect interpretations of COLREGs that solidify over time.


OK so you want to add into the rules that whenever a warship is sighted you should reduce speed to allow them more time to cross your bow?

Only problem with that is; how do you know it is a warship when all you can see is a small radar target and navigation lights?? No AIS id.


COLREGs apply to all ships. There is no special provision for warships Except those provided under the rules.
Reduction of speed is one of the methods of collision avoidance.
Pls refer to Rule 6 and Rule 8 (e)


Try telling cruise ships to turn off all other lights but nav lights.
Let’s talk about the reality here, not your perception of a how it should be.

So your war ships are fighting battles in Tokyo Bay and Singapore Strait, or other generally peaceful places??
When was the last time an American warship was hit by an incoming missile??
How many American sailors have died because of collisions with non-armed friendly merchant ships?

If everybody followed the COLREGs and made their presence and intentions known to everybody else, the chances of getting in front of another ship would be greatly reduced.


If I see a lit up cruise ship, I will tell her. And will follow it up with a complaint to her Flag State.

The reduced radar signature of a Stealth ship is a permanent design feature. It cannot be changed in Tokyo Bay.

It doesn’t matter when was the last time a US naval ship was hit by an SSM. Ships are designed for warfighting, taking into account the threats that they might face.


You’ll find some arguments against a “Week of only Sundays”.


8 posts were merged into an existing topic: COLREGS Rule 2