US Naval Tragedies at Sea Due to Obama’s Military Downsizing
The 2 deadly collisions between Navy destroyer ships and cargo ships in the last 3 months are certainly influenced by the fact that the Navy is still operating at a high level with smaller crews who have had less training.
The USS John S. McCain’s collision with an Crude Oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters on 20 August was the 2nd fatal crash involving a Navy ship in the Pacific in 2 months, 2 died from the crash, with 8 still missing, and 7 sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship hit each other in waters off Japan.
“What seems impossible, that 2 ships could hit in the middle of the ocean becomes very real,” said a former Navy lieutenant commander. “If you are not at your best, events can start that lead to a disaster.”
More than 12 current and former ship commanders who served in the western Pacific said crew exhaustion, downsizing and training gaps likely attributed to the crashes.
“As the Navy conducts this broad look in its mirror, I suspect it will recognize many blemishes that are neither new nor previously unknown,” said a former deputy chief of US naval operations.
“The Key issue is whether the Navy will commit to the fundamental changes required to actually cure those shortfalls.”
“These ships are at sea constantly,” he said. “When underway, they are basically working around the clock. People get tired, and when they do, they make mistakes.”