The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The demise of the USS Guardian

Where do I start on this list of many acts of dumb ass?!  First of all, the MCM class of mine hunters has the most precise Global Positioning System, in the world!  It can accurately locate the ship within one square yard anywhere on the globe!  But, electronic and mechanical things malfunction and the electronic charts have to be accurate, which they were not in this case.  But, the Navy has decided to solely rely on digital charts and GPS machines, to navigate our ships.  No sexton,  no charting a course on a paper chart, and what about depth soundings from the fathometer?   No, instead, we drive a multi- million dollar mine hunter onto a "Protected" coral reef.  Dumb Ass!

And what is the recourse of this act of incompetence?  The Navy has decided to scrap the much needed Mine Hunter ship!  Instead of pulling it off the "Protected" coral reef and repairing the ship.  The Navy management, in an act to protect the poor, defenseless, coral reef.  What utter stupidity!!! People may die on ships that will be blown up by mines placed in the Straight of Hormuz, by someone from the peace loving religion of Islam because we do not have enough Mine Hunter ships as it is and we have now scrapped on to save a defenseless coral reef!  Dumb Ass!!!

So, our dependence on automation, and the fools who place a coral reef over a war ship, have cost the American taxpayers and the Navy a valuable asset that is desperately needed in the war on terror.  Who ever made this decision should be Court Martialed and fired!  Then, the Navigator of the Navy should make the use of manual navigation practices mandatory, immediately!  I am just sick of the stupidity that totally encompasses the management of the Navy.  If a ship or a group of ships is attacked, I hope at least one sailor survives to tell the story of blatant incompetence and cowardice!

But, I should rest assured that females have an equal opportunity to participate in the incompetence and the uniform they wore was stylish, but unsafe.


  1. MCM Guardian gives new meaning to dead reckoning!!

  2. First let me say what I agree with you on. You are right they should not be relying on electronic instruments alone. There has to be some redundancy with manual aids to navigation. When you used paper charts (back in the day) you still had to verify your position hourly. Why there was not some type of redundancy is a travesty.
    There are a couple of things that I think need to be pointed out, however. The fathometer would have been useless in avoiding this incident. The distance which the ship went from 300 meters to aground is less than the length of the ship. Since the fathometer only looks down and not in front of the ship there was no way to see the reef under the water. As for the precise integrated navigation system (pins), it is not generally manned 24/7. Generally it is only used during minsweeping/detecting operations. Therefore, the DNC charts from NGA were the best source they had. TO that end, the paper charts (also issued by NGA) would have been exactly the same as the digital chart, because they came from the same source.
    As for the coral reef being placed at a higher priority than a war ship, I think that may be over-simplifying the issue. First off they did try to free the ship and failed. The ship was deemed not sea worthy fairly early on. Second, this reef is a pretty large source of pride to the Phillipines. So in an attempt to maintain international relations, minimizing further damage to the reef is going to be a relations imperative. Our Status of Forces agreement is already tenuous as it stands. The amount of money that this incident is going to cost the American tax payer is not as high as the amount of money we will lose if the status of forces agreement gets revoked. Lastly, decomming one minesweeper prematurely is not gloing to have a very large effect on the overall capability the minehunting fleet. There are still 13 other MCMs and 14 MHCs ready and able to step in. And as for the Straits of Hormuz, well that particular waterway is fraught with problems that one ship is not going to solve.
    I do agree that there is too much dependence on technology and not enough on good seamanship and technology error is an unacceptable excuse. But lets try to keep this in perspective of the overall mission of the Navy. One minesweeper, that we can salvage and canabalize is worth the restoration of the good will of the Phillipine Nation.