Sunday, June 18, 2017

US Destroyer almost foundered...major damage gives opportunity for wartime repair schedule...

via Reuters.
The bodies of missing sailors were found in flooded compartments of the USS Fitzgerald, which came close to sinking after a collision with a container ship off Japan tore a gash under the warship's waterline, the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet commander said on Sunday.

Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin declined to say how many of the seven missing sailors had been recovered, but Japanese media said all had died. “Out of concern for the families and the notification process, I will decline to state how many we have found at this time,” Aucoin told a news conference.

The search at sea had ended, Aucoin said.

The USS Fitzgerald could have foundered, or even sunk, but for the crew's desperate efforts to save the ship, he said.

"The damage was significant. There was a big gash under the water," Aucoin said at Yokosuka naval base, home of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, the docked Fitzgerald behind him.

"A significant portion of the crew was sleeping" when the destroyer collided with the Philippine-flagged container ship, destroying the commander's cabin, he said.

The Fitzgerald is salvageable, he said, but repairs will likely take months. "Hopefully less than a year. You will see the USS Fitzgerald back," Aucoin said.
Story here. 

The crew apparently acted heroically but that was never in doubt.  The afteraction will involve answer the question of why this happened in the first place, and I have to admit I am curious about that.

But we can't lose focus.

We must take advantage of this tragedy to test several concepts.

One of them is doing a wartime turnaround on one of our damaged ships.  A Burke Class Destroyer could honestly be characterized as a modern day battleship in importance and certainly one of the US Navy's capital ships.

If we were ever to cross swords with China we can expect them to get hit and hit hard.

How fast could we take a damaged ship and get it back into service?

I propose a two pronged repair schedule.  The first to determine what damage can be repaired in the shortest amount of time to get the ship back into combat.  Take it out, kick the tires and see how the repairs measure up in a solo ship mock exercise.

Once that is done then you send it back in, do whatever it takes to get it show room new.

Of course during the "combat repair" and mock exercise evolution we will sail with additional crew, and of course have whatever rescue ships necessary to ensure the crew is protected from mishap and to make sure no additional damage is done.  BUT WE GET TO SEE HOW IT WILL PERFORM IN EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES!

This is too important an opportunity to let slip away.  I'm sure my Navy brothers and sisters will recoil at this idea but I believe its necessary in order to prepare for the future fight.  As unsavory as this might seem it is indeed necessary.

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