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(Navy Times)   Investigating the Fitzgerald Collision: "When [ADM] Fort walked into the trash-strewn CIC ... he was hit with the acrid smell of urine. He saw kettlebells on the floor and bottles filled with pee." And it went downhill from there   (navytimes.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, Commanding officer, United States Navy, Skipper, Collision, Navigation, Visibility, junior officer, crew members  
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8697 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jan 2019 at 12:05 PM (13 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2019-01-14 11:25:52 AM  
I have no words...
 
2019-01-14 11:31:43 AM  
farking hell.
 
2019-01-14 11:44:41 AM  
wow, just wow.

I'm not completely surprised by this, but still this was something that could have been prevented. It's just bad on the families that lost their loved ones due to incompetence.
 
2019-01-14 11:47:13 AM  
I want to know WTF was up between the OOD and the OPS officer that prevented the Officer of the deck from calling down to CIC for normal contact management. That is some straight up clown-level shiat.

ON A FNCKING US NAVY DESTROYER.

I have no idea how any of the Chiefs or officers could let the CIC get like that. It is the warfighting nerve center oft he ship. XO, OPS, CICO, Watch Officer, TAO, Operations Div chief and leading petty officers would have skinned people alive if someone had pissed in CIC.

I am at a complete loss of comprehension as to how this happens
 
2019-01-14 11:57:07 AM  
What's a kettlebell and why do they have them on ships and are they saying that they were full of pee?
 
2019-01-14 12:08:54 PM  

KarmicDisaster: What's a kettlebell and why do they have them on ships and are they saying that they were full of pee?


They are like barbells, only heavier. Used to get in a few reps while on watch. Not normally a big deal, unless you have no way to "secure for sea" something big and heavy from rolling around.

No, they are not full of pee. Gatorade or water bottles filled with urine, like long-haul truckers do, because they could not get a watchstander to relieve them so they could go use the toilet. 

That is asinine.
 
2019-01-14 12:10:14 PM  
Wow. Talk about a complete breakdown in the chain of command. All the officers and senior enlisted should be discharged as quickly as possible.
 
2019-01-14 12:11:35 PM  

Horizon: Wow. Talk about a complete breakdown in the chain of command. All the officers and senior enlisted should be discharged as quickly as possible.


Sounds as if they didn't have any on that ship and that was part of the problem.
 
2019-01-14 12:11:46 PM  
As an former Operations Specialist (I worked in CIC), this is beyond insane. I lack the words to describe my shock.
 
2019-01-14 12:13:03 PM  
WITCH HUNT!  NO COLLISION!!
 
2019-01-14 12:13:22 PM  
Well, I don't know about you guys, but I sure feel nationally secure.
 
2019-01-14 12:14:04 PM  
Join the Navy. See the world. Pee at your duty station.
 
2019-01-14 12:14:48 PM  

KarmicDisaster: What's a kettlebell and why do they have them on ships and are they saying that they were full of pee?


This.
 
2019-01-14 12:15:04 PM  

the_innkeeper: I have no words...


You had four.
 
2019-01-14 12:15:12 PM  
I'm a born civilian, and only know Navy procedures from books, TV, and movies.  But damn, there needs to be a rash of courts martial.  Not just on the ship, but at the fleet level as well s they allowed the ship to become so dysfunctional.
 
2019-01-14 12:15:22 PM  
Coppock pleaded guilty to a dereliction of duty charge at court-martial last year.


Good, throw that biatch in the brig
 
2019-01-14 12:16:09 PM  

dj_bigbird: As an former Operations Specialist (I worked in CIC), this is beyond insane. I lack the words to describe my shock.


I was an STG. CIC was not my home, but OSCS would have beaten anyone (not just OS guys) that:

A) Put a soda on the consoles
B) didn't clean said consoles.
C) didn't police the area around their consoles

And he had no fncks to give about handing anyone a foxtail if their shiat wasn't squared away. The only "bottle" of anything we saw was chew spit, and that was because OSCS chewed. I cannot fathom someone whipping it out to piss in a bottle, or piss in a corner.
 
2019-01-14 12:16:21 PM  
USN allows standards and funding to slip for decades and now they act surprised that this happens? Ok.
 
2019-01-14 12:16:33 PM  

the_innkeeper: I want to know WTF was up between the OOD and the OPS officer that prevented the Officer of the deck from calling down to CIC for normal contact management. That is some straight up clown-level shiat.

ON A FNCKING US NAVY DESTROYER.

I have no idea how any of the Chiefs or officers could let the CIC get like that. It is the warfighting nerve center oft he ship. XO, OPS, CICO, Watch Officer, TAO, Operations Div chief and leading petty officers would have skinned people alive if someone had pissed in CIC.

I am at a complete loss of comprehension as to how this happens


Complete and utter lack of discipline and leadership from the top down, including all due inspections and audits, including surprise ones.

Don't even have to be ex-military to know that either.  That's how it goes to shiat in any organization.

And I'll add that the people on the bottom also have to have faith that if they see and report problems to their superiors, or have to jump the chain of command or go outside the chain of command to do so, that they will absolutely not face retaliation for doing so.  All it takes to make things turn to shiat is one key person with control over the flow of information and/or the ability to ruin everyone below them, so either the problem reports never make it further and are never addressed (except to the circular file) or the people who make the problem reports are eliminated or intimidated into not making them or they just plain give up.

I work in the public sector and ethics training is non-existent.  Hell, I bet your average bank teller gets more compliance and ethics training than upper-level management does, and what they get is still more than most public sector employees receive.
 
2019-01-14 12:16:39 PM  

the_innkeeper: KarmicDisaster: What's a kettlebell and why do they have them on ships and are they saying that they were full of pee?

They are like barbells, only heavier. Used to get in a few reps while on watch. Not normally a big deal, unless you have no way to "secure for sea" something big and heavy from rolling around.

No, they are not full of pee. Gatorade or water bottles filled with urine, like long-haul truckers do, because they could not get a watchstander to relieve them so they could go use the toilet. 

That is asinine.


If they had bigger pee jugs - they wouldn't need to kettlebells.  Problem solved.
 
2019-01-14 12:16:44 PM  
At this point, we may as well be guarded by the Edmund Fitzgerald and its crew.
 
2019-01-14 12:16:55 PM  

KarmicDisaster: What's a kettlebell and why do they have them on ships and are they saying that they were full of pee?


It's like a dumbbell, but with a better reputation.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-01-14 12:17:01 PM  
As a former Naval Sailer on ships, I am just aghast @ the level of incompetence. They obviously didn't pay head to the earlier incidents. SMDH
 
2019-01-14 12:17:53 PM  

mrshowrules: KarmicDisaster: What's a kettlebell and why do they have them on ships and are they saying that they were full of pee?

This.


Nobody can see the comma between kettlebells and bottles, indicating that subby is talking about two entirely separate items?
 
2019-01-14 12:19:39 PM  

null: the_innkeeper: I want to know WTF was up between the OOD and the OPS officer that prevented the Officer of the deck from calling down to CIC for normal contact management. That is some straight up clown-level shiat.

ON A FNCKING US NAVY DESTROYER.

I have no idea how any of the Chiefs or officers could let the CIC get like that. It is the warfighting nerve center oft he ship. XO, OPS, CICO, Watch Officer, TAO, Operations Div chief and leading petty officers would have skinned people alive if someone had pissed in CIC.

I am at a complete loss of comprehension as to how this happens

Complete and utter lack of discipline and leadership from the top down, including all due inspections and audits, including surprise ones.

Don't even have to be ex-military to know that either.  That's how it goes to shiat in any organization.

And I'll add that the people on the bottom also have to have faith that if they see and report problems to their superiors, or have to jump the chain of command or go outside the chain of command to do so, that they will absolutely not face retaliation for doing so.  All it takes to make things turn to shiat is one key person with control over the flow of information and/or the ability to ruin everyone below them, so either the problem reports never make it further and are never addressed (except to the circular file) or the people who make the problem reports are eliminated or intimidated into not making them or they just plain give up.

I work in the public sector and ethics training is non-existent.  Hell, I bet your average bank teller gets more compliance and ethics training than upper-level management does, and what they get is still more than most public sector employees receive.


Public sector gets a LOT of training. OIG makes sure of that, but it does mirror the "upper echelon is weak on training" you see in the private sector. 

This is an organizational issue. The entire ship was shiat for this to happen.
 
2019-01-14 12:20:09 PM  
yes, but piss bottles and broken nav equipment

So the guy running the ship knew they weren't operationally ready but set out anyhow because reasons?
 
2019-01-14 12:20:21 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-01-14 12:21:40 PM  

the_innkeeper: KarmicDisaster: What's a kettlebell and why do they have them on ships and are they saying that they were full of pee?

They are like barbells, only heavier. Used to get in a few reps while on watch. Not normally a big deal, unless you have no way to "secure for sea" something big and heavy from rolling around.

No, they are not full of pee. Gatorade or water bottles filled with urine, like long-haul truckers do, because they could not get a watchstander to relieve them so they could go use the toilet. 

That is asinine.


I guess that I thought that it was some kind of iron kettle for making stew or something from the mess.
 
2019-01-14 12:21:59 PM  

dj_bigbird: As an former Operations Specialist (I worked in CIC), this is beyond insane. I lack the words to describe my shock.


As a former Quartermaster (I worked on the bridge), this is beyond insane. I lack the words to describe my shock.
 
2019-01-14 12:22:05 PM  

dr_blasto: yes, but piss bottles and broken nav equipment

So the guy running the ship knew they weren't operationally ready but set out anyhow because reasons?


Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF)/Japan: Ready or not, you deploy.
 
2019-01-14 12:22:11 PM  

the_innkeeper: I want to know WTF was up between the OOD and the OPS officer that prevented the Officer of the deck from calling down to CIC for normal contact management. That is some straight up clown-level shiat.


This.

If I had to lay money on it, I'd say the guy in CIC had been harassing - sexually or otherwise - the (female) OOD.  Interesting how TFA doesn't mention his name.
 
2019-01-14 12:22:49 PM  

KangTheMad: mrshowrules: KarmicDisaster: What's a kettlebell and why do they have them on ships and are they saying that they were full of pee?

This.

Nobody can see the comma between kettlebells and bottles, indicating that subby is talking about two entirely separate items?


Like people read the headline in that much detail.
 
2019-01-14 12:24:47 PM  

KangTheMad: USN allows standards and funding to slip for decades and now they act surprised that this happens? Ok.


This reminds me of the group responsible for the ICBMs.
 
2019-01-14 12:25:23 PM  

aungen: KangTheMad: USN allows standards and funding to slip for decades and now they act surprised that this happens? Ok.

This reminds me of the group responsible for the ICBMs.


The people that misplaced a nuke?
 
2019-01-14 12:26:04 PM  

KangTheMad: mrshowrules: KarmicDisaster: What's a kettlebell and why do they have them on ships and are they saying that they were full of pee?

This.

Nobody can see the comma between kettlebells and bottles, indicating that subby is talking about two entirely separate items?


When I read it it seemed to me that "bottles full of pee" was a definition for kettlebells. The ellipses threw me off
 
2019-01-14 12:26:05 PM  
The Fitz's commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, and Lt. Natalie Combs, who ran the CIC, are battling similar charges in court but contend unlawful command influence by senior leaders scuttled any chance for fair trials.


Throw those biatches in the brig too
 
2019-01-14 12:26:11 PM  
What the actual...

Ship travel is governed by the "rules of the road," a set of guidelines regarding speed, lookouts and other best practices to avoid collisions, but Fort's report casts doubt on whether watchstanders on board the Fitz and sister warships in the 7th Fleet had sufficient knowledge of them to safely navigate at sea.
About three weeks after the ACX Crystal disaster, Fort's investigators sprang a rules of the road pop quiz on Fitz's officers.
It didn't go well. The 22 who took the test averaged a score of 59 percent, Fort wrote.
"Only 3 of 22 Officers achieved a score over 80%," he added, with seven officers scoring below 50 percent.
The same exam was administered to the wardroom of another unnamed destroyer as a control group, and those officers scored similarly dismal marks.


The rules of the road (COLREGS) is arguably the most basic and essential set of guidelines for shiphandling. If you're around other vessels, every action you take is dictated by those.
 
2019-01-14 12:26:38 PM  

FrancoFile: the_innkeeper: I want to know WTF was up between the OOD and the OPS officer that prevented the Officer of the deck from calling down to CIC for normal contact management. That is some straight up clown-level shiat.

This.

If I had to lay money on it, I'd say the guy in CIC had been harassing - sexually or otherwise - the (female) OOD.  Interesting how TFA doesn't mention his name.


OPS was on watch. She was the LT Combs mentioned in the article:

"When Fort arrived at her CIC desk, he found a stack of paperwork Combs abandoned: "She was most likely consumed and distracted by a review of Operations Department paperwork for the three and a half hours of her watch prior to the collision," Fort wrote.

Last 30 minutes of watch? Could have been. I have seen TAOs do paperwork at the console, but not in high traffic transits, while they had no situational awareness from the Bridge Crew.
 
2019-01-14 12:27:14 PM  

KarmicDisaster: What's a kettlebell and why do they have them on ships and are they saying that they were full of pee?


thebikinibuilders.comView Full Size


/ sorry, the kettlebell is cropped in this picture.
 
2019-01-14 12:27:42 PM  

dj_bigbird: As an former Operations Specialist (I worked in CIC), this is beyond insane. I lack the words to describe my shock.


I'm not shocked. This is the kinder, gentler USN. When I was in, even the smallest screwing of the pooch would get you a date with an enraged Chief whose only mission in life, it seemed, was to push your **** in and make you pray for death rather than be a farkstick.

As time has passed, policies have changed. Professionalism and dedication to duty have suffered as a result of some rear admiral thinking you can take pretty much anyone, train he/she and put them at the helm of a 9,000 ton death machine.

/LKA113
 
2019-01-14 12:28:18 PM  

the_innkeeper: null: the_innkeeper: I want to know WTF was up between the OOD and the OPS officer that prevented the Officer of the deck from calling down to CIC for normal contact management. That is some straight up clown-level shiat.

ON A FNCKING US NAVY DESTROYER.

I have no idea how any of the Chiefs or officers could let the CIC get like that. It is the warfighting nerve center oft he ship. XO, OPS, CICO, Watch Officer, TAO, Operations Div chief and leading petty officers would have skinned people alive if someone had pissed in CIC.

I am at a complete loss of comprehension as to how this happens

Complete and utter lack of discipline and leadership from the top down, including all due inspections and audits, including surprise ones.

Don't even have to be ex-military to know that either.  That's how it goes to shiat in any organization.

And I'll add that the people on the bottom also have to have faith that if they see and report problems to their superiors, or have to jump the chain of command or go outside the chain of command to do so, that they will absolutely not face retaliation for doing so.  All it takes to make things turn to shiat is one key person with control over the flow of information and/or the ability to ruin everyone below them, so either the problem reports never make it further and are never addressed (except to the circular file) or the people who make the problem reports are eliminated or intimidated into not making them or they just plain give up.

I work in the public sector and ethics training is non-existent.  Hell, I bet your average bank teller gets more compliance and ethics training than upper-level management does, and what they get is still more than most public sector employees receive.

Public sector gets a LOT of training. OIG makes sure of that, but it does mirror the "upper echelon is weak on training" you see in the private sector. 

This is an organizational issue. The entire ship was shiat for this to happen.


Maybe they get training at the Fed level.  They sure as shiat don't do it here at my local level.  And it's not just my slice either.  Pretty sure it is the same in city government, the PD and FD, and the county.

Zero training, zero accountability, we have senior administration screwing up royally and making the local news, and once you have that and they get a slap on the wrist, you can't enforce discipline on the lower folks, because the example has been set and because the union will happily fight back citing the precedent set by management protecting their own from the consequences of screwing up
 
2019-01-14 12:29:49 PM  

Erik_Emune: What the actual...

Ship travel is governed by the "rules of the road," a set of guidelines regarding speed, lookouts and other best practices to avoid collisions, but Fort's report casts doubt on whether watchstanders on board the Fitz and sister warships in the 7th Fleet had sufficient knowledge of them to safely navigate at sea.
About three weeks after the ACX Crystal disaster, Fort's investigators sprang a rules of the road pop quiz on Fitz's officers.
It didn't go well. The 22 who took the test averaged a score of 59 percent, Fort wrote.
"Only 3 of 22 Officers achieved a score over 80%," he added, with seven officers scoring below 50 percent.
The same exam was administered to the wardroom of another unnamed destroyer as a control group, and those officers scored similarly dismal marks.

The rules of the road (COLREGS) is arguably the most basic and essential set of guidelines for shiphandling. If you're around other vessels, every action you take is dictated by those.


Hence the Navy's issues this decade. 

starting around 2000, they began throwing CDs/DVDs at all the SWOs graduating from Rhode Island, said "study those, and your ship will OJT and qual you." without sending them to actual navigation schools. Now, failing to get OOD qualed is a career killer, obviously, but no one ever fails because its a career killer and there aren't enough zeros to fill the slots.

Yes, this is an argument for slow promotion due to overmanning.
 
2019-01-14 12:29:57 PM  

KangTheMad: aungen: KangTheMad: USN allows standards and funding to slip for decades and now they act surprised that this happens? Ok.

This reminds me of the group responsible for the ICBMs.

The people that misplaced a nuke?


Abysmal morale, cannibalized systems, cheating on tests, etc.  It was a huge scandal a few years ago.  It called into question the readiness of the nuclear arsenal on a fundamental level, and I believe a lot of people got sacked.
 
2019-01-14 12:31:14 PM  
Predictable surprise.

Anyone interested in how standards slipping on an organizational level leads to this type of incident can benefit from astronaut Mike Mullane's excellent presentation on the subject - it's long, it's good. We use it in tall ships training.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljzj9​M​sli5o
 
2019-01-14 12:31:30 PM  
Wtf is the fitzgerald collision?
 
2019-01-14 12:31:41 PM  

aungen: KangTheMad: aungen: KangTheMad: USN allows standards and funding to slip for decades and now they act surprised that this happens? Ok.

This reminds me of the group responsible for the ICBMs.

The people that misplaced a nuke?

Abysmal morale, cannibalized systems, cheating on tests, etc.  It was a huge scandal a few years ago.  It called into question the readiness of the nuclear arsenal on a fundamental level, and I believe a lot of people got sacked.


Yikes.
 
2019-01-14 12:33:07 PM  

Twenty Dollar Tomato: Wtf is the fitzgerald collision?


It was only a major news story about a US Navy destroyer that got t-boned by a giant cargo ship. But I guess reading is hard if you're a tomato with no eyes.
 
2019-01-14 12:33:35 PM  

FrancoFile: the_innkeeper: I want to know WTF was up between the OOD and the OPS officer that prevented the Officer of the deck from calling down to CIC for normal contact management. That is some straight up clown-level shiat.

This.

If I had to lay money on it, I'd say the guy in CIC had been harassing - sexually or otherwise - the (female) OOD.  Interesting how TFA doesn't mention his name.


Well, TFA did mention the officer in charge of the CIC was a she. Seems like it could well be the case of two women thinking the other one is a c***.

"The Fitz's commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, and Lt. Natalie Combs, who ran the CIC, are battling similar charges in court but contend unlawful command influence by senior leaders scuttled any chance for fair trials."
 
2019-01-14 12:34:26 PM  

fappomatic: dj_bigbird: As an former Operations Specialist (I worked in CIC), this is beyond insane. I lack the words to describe my shock.

I'm not shocked. This is the kinder, gentler USN. When I was in, even the smallest screwing of the pooch would get you a date with an enraged Chief whose only mission in life, it seemed, was to push your **** in and make you pray for death rather than be a farkstick.

As time has passed, policies have changed. Professionalism and dedication to duty have suffered as a result of some rear admiral thinking you can take pretty much anyone, train he/she and put them at the helm of a 9,000 ton death machine.

/LKA113


Fnck of with this noise. 

Japan has been a shiatstick of a posting since... ever. 

Too busy, too many rules, not enough ships, and no training. 

"Back when I was in..." you all started this shiat. You either hold the standards, or you don't. 

Today's Chiefs were yesterday's Seamen. Someone had to train those Seamen how to Sailor. 

Push in your own shiat.
 
2019-01-14 12:34:29 PM  
That was an appalling read.
 
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