Why won't the Navy release the USS FITZGERALD's track?


That’s hubris. By now a number of people have suggested that you are lacking in self awareness; add me to that list. Also, the Ehime Maru USS Greenville collision.

That’s true to some extent, especially true in the case of two merchant ships; but naval vessels exempt themselves from compliance with normal merchant statutory navigational requirements and best practices. Doing so rightly shifts more of the the burden onto them when they’re involved in an incident. But ignore that if you like, it gets better. Neither the Fitzgerald nor any other USN warship should ever be struck by a merchant vessel in the open sea. I don’t really care if the ACX Crystal was part of some insane secret North Korean sneak attack conspiracy. Even if the Crystal intentionally aimed at the Fitzgerald, the Fitzgerald should have avoided it. When a USN warship is struck by a larger slower vessel, something has gone terribly wrong. This kind of excuse making is nonsense.

Nonsense. By moving in and out of port amongst merchant and other traffic in a “classified” fashion, the USN gains nothing valuable, and puts its vessels and all other area vessels at unnecessarily increased jeopardy. You may think your arrivals and departures are secret, and your girlfriend may as well, but the guy who sells groceries to your ship knows, and so do a lot of others at your ports of call link. Even without spies or corruption, the arrival of a naval ship, even a submarine is usually public knowledge. That’s the whole point of force projection. When it’s not, it’s still very difficult to conceal the arrivals and departures of any USN vessel. If you thought the USN could sneak a large submarine into a slip at port, you were wrong.

That’s a cute anecdote. Your own personal secrecy requirements do not imply that the information you’re ostensibly protecting remains a secret.


Sorry to interupt, but what has all this got to do with the subject of this thread; Why won’t the Navy release the USS Fitzgerald’s track?
I’m generally curious and interested in any subject, but this is WAY OFF TRACK.


Concur 100%, and that is the most difficult part to come to terms with, particularly with no real information from the USN. I have noted it in several earlier posts - just shouldn’t happen.


Shipmate I’m far from arrogant. You just want to join everybody else in being anti-Navy, which is very odd because you yourself have silver dolphins.

When people are talking about submarines I can add something to the discussion. When they’re talking about merchant shipping I stay quiet.


Of course, I was Navy, not a merchant so that means I don’t know anything about what we did down there. And yes I already mentioned the USS Greenville. Notice how I don’t come on here and tell you guys how to drive Merchant Marine vessels or claim the institution of the US Merchant Marine is deeply flawed and falling part because you occassionally have accidents out on the deep blue sea. I never noticed this “anti-Navy” aspect on this site until recently. I thought gCaptain’s article about the accident was reasonable and fair but some of you guys on here, sheesh. Anybody who dares to say anything positive about the US Navy on here…“clearly you have never been to sea”, etc.

Since I’m being respectful of the Merchant Mariners on here, I would appreciate some reciprocation of that. Respect doesn’t mean we always agree.

No, both ships made mistakes there. They both had radar and visual. Both could have avoided that accident. Which is what gCaptain himself said, and I agree. Have you seen me attack gCaptain because he said the USS Fitzgerald is partially to blame? No, you have not.

Now, you guys who want to say “the US Navy is fundamentally incompetent as an organization because Naval ships occasionally are involved in accidents”, I’m sorry man, we’re not on the same page. It is nothing personal, but I was in the US Navy and I know they are not failing as an organization.If I said that about the US Merchant Marine, you would be offended and would defend the institution of the US Merchant Marine, would you not?

Yes, that US Navy ship made a mistake here. No, it doesn’t mean the Navy is a failure.

When a USN warship is struck by a larger slower vessel, something has gone terribly wrong. [/quote]

I agree. I can’t imagine any mariner not agreeing with that statement. Still, see above.

Sure, man. Every civilian in San Diego knew when SSBN-728 was going to arrive. The boat that goes out of port and then goes underwater and doesn’t come back up until they’re coming into another port. Everybody knows exactly where that boat goes. Next you’re going to tell me that everybody in Los Angeles knows when a stealth bomber is going to pass overhead at night, right? That lady isn’t my gf. she’s literally a friend from college, a platonic friend. :smile:

Well, you don’t have the information I’m protecting and I’m not going to give it to you. I’ve never seen it published, and I couldn’t acknowledge it if I did since I am not allowed to discuss it (just that single sentence is all I’m allowed to say).


Rather than call my position “anti-Navy” why can’t you see it as pro-professionalsim?

It was not the actions of maritime professionals who killed 7 men on the Fits, it was not a group of professionals manning the bridge of the Porter.

It is not “anti-Navy” to condemn the Navy’s refusal to participate fully and openly in the investigation of an accident that caused multiple fatalities while operating in a peaceful civilian environment among merchant vessels making innocent passages.

I believe we need a strong Navy, but more important than that, we need a professional Navy which is more interested in national defense than it is in protecting the reputations and careers of failed managers at every level all the way to the Cabinet.

It is not “anti-Navy” or unpatriotic to demand the highest standards from those we trust with our security, our treasury, and the lives of our family members. My dolphins don’t show 3 of them covering their eyes, ears, and mouths.


I think it goes directly to the heart of the issue. The refusal of the Navy to release information about its role in a civilian accident in peacetime in the middle of a maritime shipping “highway” is illustrated by the attitude and beliefs posted here by some of the Navy supporters. The culture of the organization is at the root of the thread title and more than likely contributed to the cause of the collision.

The posts may be a bit boring because they are so predictable (and mostly irrelevant) but the thought behind them is a good illustration of the culture which produced them.


Because that isn’t what you’re saying dude; at least that’s not how you’re expressing it. I’m not keeping a log, but you keep calling your Naval shipmates incompetent, we don’t know what we’re doing, etc.

Contrast that with my posts. I treat people with respect, I respect the US Merchant Marine, I acknowledge that they have to get a lot of training to do what they do as well. The US Merchant Marine has been involved in accidents too but they aren’t incompetent as a result. Neither is the Navy.

Case in point, shipmate. Case in point. You just stated that Navy men and women are not professionals. You were in the Navy. You have the silver dolphins of a submariner, which means you were in an elite unit in the Navy.

Are you a professional?

I think you’re a professional. So there’s at least one professional in the Navy. Indeed, most of us are professionals. The Navy is a professional organization. Being a professional doesn’t mean you never make mistakes.


Indeed, sir, this was my intent. You’re right, technically I should have said “let more steam out of the steam generator”. :smile:

Well sir, according to most people on this web site, I guess that means both of us are incompetent, since the Navy is composed of incompetent people and is a horrible organization and a failure, and we’re Navy veterans so therefore we are incompetent and failures. lol. :rofl:

Also thanks for your service sir btw. I was STS3(SS) on USS Florida SSBN-728 and USS Asheville SSN-758. Served 1999 to 2003. Went to Basic Enlisted Submarine School and Sonar “A” School in Groton CT…I guess technically it is called New London Naval Submarine Base, although New London is actually across the river and is where the Puddle Pirates have their Academy. :smile:


As far as I can tell, both institutions (if you can call the merchants an institution) are extremely conservative in hanging on to traditional practices long after their usefulness has diminished.

I don’t think that the gCaptain forums are “anti-Navy”, especially since many of the posters were themselves in the Navy, but there are a few who seem to have a bone to pick with USN commanding officers in particular, and with the apparent command structure on a typical USN warship bridge. Don’t take criticism of the Navy as if it were a personal insult.

Yeah, agree, don’t misunderstand my position. I’m not attempting to excuse the Crystal from responsibility. The separate question still remains, “How did the Fitzgerald allow itself to be struck by a cargo ship?”

I would not. I don’t have a dog in this fight. The largest boat I’ve ever driven can be pulled behind a pickup truck. I do think that both external criticism and internal self-criticism are vital to the Navy’s future.

Fine, be dismissive. Being in a populated and unrestricted area exposes aircraft/vessels to passive observers. I don’t imagine that everyone in LA or San Diego cares,but Nellis AFB is in Las Vegas, Nevada, not Area 51. The other bases that B-2’s operate from are also not secret or undisclosed. Nearby residents don’t need the flight plans to know that one has taken off, or arrived. By the same token, there are many people who can directly observe the comings and goings of USN vessels in addition to the indirect observations made possible by observing logistics operations and related stuff. Anyone who wants to know USN arrivals and departures can do so with good precision.


It can be pretty easy at times to tell if a nuke sub is coming or going!


That is an excellent point, worth special noting.

This is another excellent point to note.


No, but it means you don’t keep making the same one over and over again and try to hide it.


The pompousness and great expense of the Navy to save face in events of error is troubling.
I’m both AGT OICNW and OOD qualified, have stood watch on both and can say there is a lot of koolaid drinking on the grey side that needs to be stopped. It’s absolutely laughable in some instances, and leads to a henderance in professional development.
I could go on and on, from general ship maintenance, engineering, bridge teams, etc. Ever wonder why all the supply ships went to MSC? Ever wonder why they toyed with the idea of having civmars drive and steam naval ships while a navy contingent operated combat? Ever look at the USS Ponce? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it.


Dude, that’s a flood light, not a signaling light.


Correct. You can turn horizontal and vertical in order to better flood your gangway ( in dark ports ) or mooring ropes in case of watching someone climbing up ( African ports ) or just quickly swipe over areas where pirate skiffs are expected. In the cold war times before 1990 they had on cargo vessels removable shrouds with horizontal lamellas linked with small levers and a handle
in order to give morse code. But you know this probably. :wink:


I didn’t particularly wanted to get invovled in this discussion about spotlight/floodlight/signal lamp, since I don’t think it made much of a difference to the outcome whichever was used (Personally I would have gone for the Aldis lamp) Or how it was used, whether to morse “U”, 5 flashes, “highlighting”, or “waving” the light, it didn’t make one bit of difference to the outcome. They still collided.

But today I walked around on the wharf to take picture of the three Cruise ships visiting our small town today and couldn’t help to notice their spotlights (or is it flood lights) under the enclosed Bridge wings.

Here the “Costa Pacifica” (Sister ship of the Concordia):

And here the “Arcadia”, belonging to P&O:

Nothing to do with the floodlight/spotlight issue, but I couldn’t help to notice the Standard Compass on the “Arcadia”, sitting two decks above the bridge:

I was just wondering how the reflector to make it visible at the helm position would look??
(Or do they have new and sophisticated way of doing it??)

PS> Both the Costa and P&O are actually Carnival subsidiaries.

PPS> The third vessel, the “Monarch” (ex Monarch of the Seas) was berthed at a Container Terminal a bit outside town centre, so I did not get any picture of that one today, but she is a regular and will be back every 10 days or so throughout the summer.


This is how it’s done, magnetic compass with fluxgate:


Google “Suez Searchlight”.


On the Arcadia the search light was turned towards the stern. Maybe they have other functions as well? Like lighting up the wharf at night etc.? (Not that that is needed here at 62.5N Lat. in the summer)

BTW: The Disney Magic appears to have only one search ligh, placed on top of the “rotunda” that serves as a bridge: