The headlines have been buzzing over the collision between one ship and the USS John McCain. About ten men are missing and their whereabouts are unknown while five were injured but survived. It is expected that they are now deceased. The collision happened near Singapore, China between a Naval and a merchant ship. CNN has already reported that remains of some of the sailors have been found in a compartment of the ship.
The search for the remaining remains has continued. Questions are arising over the nature of the crash and whether it was intentional or an accident. The Navy has not ruled out whether it was an intentional action.
The chief of naval operations spoke to reporters on Monday and said the following at the Pentagon,
“That’s is certainly something we are giving full consideration to but we have no indication that that’s the case—yet. But we’re looking at every possibility, so we’re not leaving anything to chance.”
The Young Conservative reported the following,
“Asked if that includes the possibility the electronic defenses on the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain were hacked in a cyber attack, Richardson said investigators will look into all possible causes.
“We’ll take a look at all of that, as we did with the Fitzgerald,” the four-star admiral said, referring to another Navy warship collision with a merchant ship in June near Japan. This would seem to be an act of war – if the McCain was hacked. Stay tuned. This could potentially turn into a big deal.”
U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. Scott Swift said Tuesday said the following,
“We will continue the search and rescue operations until the probability of discovering sailors is exhausted. We are in the process of gaining possession of those remains [from Malaysia], so we are in the process of identifying.”
He also said,
“It is premature to discuss what the outcome will be, but the naval command is sending a team here to do the assessment. They will assess the damage…and determine what repairs are necessary. We are very grateful for the support we’re receiving from Singapore.”
Diving missions have taken place since the collision the U.S. Navy reported. The navies of Singapore and Malaysia are helping with the recovery and diving missions since it took place so close to their respective countries. The mission is going to be a difficult one. The crash caused a large and gaping hole in the left rear hull of the destroyer. As a result, the adjacent compartment was flooded.
Fox News reported,
“A full investigation into the incident will be conducted. The identities of the missing have not been disclosed but Megan Partlow of Ohio said her fiance’s parents were in touch with the Navy’s family assistance center. Partlow, who said her fiance was on board the McCain, told The Associated Press in a Facebook message that they last communicated on Sunday and she was losing hope of seeing him again.
“My last text to him was ‘be safe,’ which is the same way we end every conversation. I’m just ready for answers,” she said. The collision was the second major incident in two months involving the Pacific-based 7th Fleet and the fourth major mishap in the Pacific. In June, seven sailors died when USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided in the waters off Japan. The Navy ordered a pause in 7th Fleet operations to conduct a “broader investigation” into its performance and readiness on Monday.
“While each of these four incidents is unique, they cannot be viewed in isolation,” Swift said. He added the Navy would conduct an investigation “to find out if there is a common cause … and if so, how do we solve that.”
This is not an isolated incident but one of similar occurrences.
“The collision was hardly an isolated incident for the Navy. It comes only two months after the USS Fitzgerald’s collision with a Philippine container ship in the middle of the night off the coast of Japan. Seven U.S. sailors lost their lives in that collision, and last week the Navy relieved the Fitzgerald’s commanding officer, executive officer and senior enlisted sailor for mistakes that led to the crash.
The USS Lake Champlain, a guided missile cruiser, collided with a fishing boat in the Sea of Japan in May. There were no injuries from that crash. The Navy ship tried to alert the fishing boat before the collision, but it was too late. The USS Antietam, also a guided-missile cruiser, ran aground off the coast of Japan in February, damaging its propellers and spilling oil into the water.
John Richardson, the Navy’s top admiral, called for an operational pause in the region and “a deeper look into how we train and certify forces operating in and around Japan,” after the McCain’s collision. “We’ll examine the process in which we train and certify our forces that are deployed in Japan to make sure we’re doing all we can to make them ready for operations and war fighting,” he told reporters.
“This will include but not be limited to looking at operational tempo, trends in personnel, material, maintenance and equipment. It will also include a review of how we train and certify our service warfare community, including tactical and navigational proficiency,” he said yesterday at a press conference.”
It seems as if something is afoot. If this was an attack by another nation, they will have to be made to pay dearly for the loss of our sailor’s lives.
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