USS J McCain / Alnic MC collision near Singapore

It looks like the Navy riding gang was playing with the ballast panel.

Can you elaborate???

The ballast control panel on Treasure is in the old Cargo Control Room on Deck A. (one level above poop deck)
I presume that it was not locked while underway, since nobody would expect anybody to “play” with anything in there.

PS> The “riders” (at least some of them) would likely occupy cabins at this and the next level up.

If we have to explain Subic Bay to you then you’re too young to know.

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Yes at my tender age I probably don’t need to know about your experiences in Olongapo. It could hurt my innocent Norwegian mind.
This may help refresh your memory??:

The subject of the Navy employing “sailing masters”, with professional mariner qualifications, came up in both this thread and the Fitzgerald thread. On that subject, I thought this article from the USNI News today was of interest. It discusses the completion of the recent refit of the USS Frank Cable (AS-40) and it’s return to its homeport at Guam. The article mentions that the ship has BOTH a “C.O.” and a “Master”. The Master is a CIVilan MARiner Captain. The article is at this link:

Further explanation of the MSC’s participation in “hybrid” crews on 4 ships is mentioned here:

Some of you readers have mentioned that you are aware of this practice. Just FYI for those who aren’t. Clearly it shows a “proof of concept” if the Navy wants to consider this solution. It would be interesting to read more about how it’s working on those 4 vessels, but I haven’t found much about that yet.

At least one of the posters here has worked on one and talked about it in these threads.

Problem solved!

U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Phil Davidson, says sailors also need to get used to working better while sleep deprived or physically worn out.

“One of the things that leaps out is, you’ve got to be able to handle fatigue. This is about more than just, ‘Hey, the routine is too much,’” Davidson said.

“If you saw the investigations directly on what transpired on [destroyer] Fitzgerald and McCain after the collisions, and the leaders that have to cope with fatigue, whether it’s the lack of sleep or whether it’s the physical exertion of it all, there is some component there that is not robustly tested in the fleet. We really have to take a look at that,” he said.

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Sounds just like the quote from a certain tugboat company CEO in reference to the 6 and 6 watch schedule “these mariner’s are trained to deal with it” or some bullshit like that.


Further confirmation that the Navy is just another clueless government bureaucracy that can’t find its ass with both hands.

Former Fitzgerald, McCain COs Face Negligent Homicide, Dereliction of Duty Charges Over Fatal Collisions

The Navy doesn’t always move at the speed people would like, but it does move. The negligent homicide charges seem ambitious, but I am not a lawyer. I look forward to justice being served and the release of these investigations to the public.

Finally someone is talking about deck and engineering specialization on Navy ships.

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As I fill out my STCW required log of rest hours, I’m comforted knowing that my USN brethren on the 27kt grey-hull approaching on a steady bearing-decreasing range “give-way” vessel, is working better on his 100 week, all jacked up on Mountain Dew or Monster drinks, is sleep deprived, and is driving like a drunk.

Y’know, in my Nam days running FREEDOM TRAIN and LINEBACKER gun strikes on the North, we worked a lot of hours, but that was during combat. Out of the war zone, we worked 4 on/8off-nowhere near 100 hours.

Bill Engvall is right; “You can’t fix stupid”.

Is this “progress”?

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Photos from Panama.

Aside from ADM Davidson I don’t know a single sailor who is excited at the prospect of having to work through the fatigue on their 100 hour week.

A ship on the gun line probably had a lot less manpower shortages thanks to a supply of volunteers looking to avoid the draft, not to mention a whole lot fewer requirements for mandatory training on sexual harassment and protecting personally identifiable information.

Ten years ago a DDG was mustering around 330 officers and men. Today that number is closer to 250. Compound that by an insatiable demand for reports, metrics, data calls, and other distractions by a squadron staff with broadband connectivity.

Admirals have yet to learn that they are only going to be able to do less with less. Captains have yet to learn that they are going to need to say “no” to tasking they cannot meet. Until one of these things happen, do not expect progress.


It’s an interesting idea, but ultimately one that I doubt will come to pass. Specializing engineers into their own branch (and make no mistake, this will not be a separation of equals) may yield some improvement in the operation of the engineering department, but it is unlikely to improve ship handling or combat performance.

On the other hand, specialization will damage the Surface Warfare Officer community. That may not sound important, but it is. On all but the largest ships Chief Engineers are first or second tour department heads (LT or LCDR). Unless Big Navy is willing to create scores of CDR billets, engineers will not have a viable career path that parallels their topsider cousins. As the Navy found out with its last attempt at creating SWO specialists, no career path means no interest.

As the “mainline” SWO community spins off the engineers, it will grow smaller, and have less of a voice at the table for allocation of resources. While you may be right in pointing out that community clout is a poor way to run a railroad, it doesn’t change the fact that SWO is best served by putting up the largest numbers they can.

Finally, there is benefit to having jacks of all trades. Right now to be eligible for command it is not necessary to have done an engineering tour, but it is necessary to be qualified EOOW (OICEW). Understanding how the plant operates (theoretically) makes SWOs better ship drivers, because they know her capabilities and limitations. It may not be strictly necessary to know how a power train works to drive a car, but it helps. More importantly, knowing what the plant can and cannot do is tactically relevant in combat, when limitations of 60hz, 400hz, firemain, seawater, chilled water, LP air, etc. influence what and how you use your weapons systems.

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Looking back retrospectively, I don’t know if the tin-cans were fully manned. All I know is that when running the gun strikes to NVN, not laying-to on the gun line and lobbing “harassment & interdiction” shells occasionally in the south, is that GQ was frequent every day, fuel un-reps every other day, ammo un-rep on every other day (usually not on fuel day-but sometimes after a high-intensity mission), and groceries once a week.

Sleep was a scarce commodity in those days, and after several consecutive days of this high-intensity work out, the ship was dispatched to YANKEE STATION for plane guarding or NSAR/PIRAZ to ride shotgun for RED CROWN (usually a gunless DLG). The tempo of ops allowed for some rest, although chasing the bird-farms at 30+ knots usually meant fueling every other day. Those “rest cycles” were well worth it.

And thank Jesus we didn’t have to put up with the bullsh!it of sexual harassment and protecting personally identifiable information. God forbid the inclusion of “human trafficking” curriculum also. The medical briefing prior to entering Subic was bad enough!!

I’m ignorant as to why DDG’s have lost 80 personnel. Automation? Streamlining? Less intensive weapons? But you are absolutely spot-on with squadron’s insatiable demand for reports, metrics, and others. We suffer from it here in the civilian world too. Way too much bureaucratic BS going on, interfering with the true mission.

There is a time and place to say, “NO.”


The Royal Navy model means that the highest rank an Engineer officer can aspire to is Rear Admiral. Weapons and electrical is a seperate specialisation.
All officers do modules of all specialisations as junior officers including engineroom watch keeping with hands on experience. The Technical officers do bridge time as well.
On the plus side technical officers are highly sort after by commercial companies. A general list engineer who joined just after me completed a Batchelor of Engineering degree concurrently with an apprenticeship in fitting and turning by completing the required time during university vacations.
He gained a bridge watch keeping certificate as part of his sea training and after 2 years at sea as a second engineer did a 2 year post graduate engineering degree.
Guess what? He was head huntered by an international firm within months of returning to sea.

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Not surprisingly, Singapore Authorities have done their own enquiry into this insident and come to a not surprising conclusion:

The latest on that news from Straits Times also:

The complete report here:

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