Last night I read the first half of the report John Dillworth linked. It describes the collision of the USS Fitzgerald in detail, but in a "de-nauticalized" fashion. It has extensive photos, drawings, and track diagrams. I would encourage all here to read it. The half took me less than an hour, with frequent rewinds.
The Aegis system, I assume, allowed the investigators to reconstruct the contact picture in ways that would have not been possible on my boat. It was an INTENSE operating environment, at 0130 in the morning, after a long, difficult day of inshore evolutions including an ammo on-load. The ship was handled beyond recklessly, missing contacts (reconstructed) in crossing situations by mere hundreds of yards while moving at 20 kts. No bridge-to-bridge was attempted with any of them. CIC let the OOD down in every way. There was only one lookout stationed, on the wrong bridge wing. The CO was never called, in violation of Standing Orders as well as Navy Regs. The JOOD, when the Fitzgerald was in extremis and minutes from disaster, made prudent recommendations to the OOD, which were rejected. The last order to the helm was not executed, requiring the BMOW, seconds before contact, to assume the helm from the helmsman, but to no avail. And finally, and most egregiously, the CO left the bridge in that traffic environment, as did the Navigator.
Reading the report was difficult. I was heartened, however, choked up, by the descriptions of the actions of the crew in the seconds and minutes after a 17 x 13 foot hole was punched in a major berthing compartment two decks below the waterline. I won't attempt to describe the heroism; read it for yourself. But I was reminded of a famous line from "The Bridges of Toko-Ri": "Where do we find such men?" To that I would add ". . . and women."
< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 6/29/2018 2:53:37 PM >