discuss naval matters at NextNavy.com or write about the Navy, JAGMAN investigation into collision between USS Hartford and USS New Orleans. A close analogy would be the vulnerability of a surgical patient, whose risk of infection is astronomically higher while cut open by experienced, well-trained professionals, in an environment carefully and professionally prepared. Command Investigation into the Collision Involving USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Montpelier (SSN 765) San Jacinto-Montpelier FOIA Request Response Letter. Unexpected bills and escalating data costs can become a thing of the past. In France, the fire remains under investigation and it is unclear whether or to what extent Naval Group, the prime contractor, might be held accountable.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This is a tricky issue, and a matter where America’s naval shipyards and the Navy must work together to identify and address waterfront safety. Some of these same factors are undoubtedly faced by Russian and Chinese sailors as well, although to what extent American observers cannot be sure. These fire watches are among the most tedious and boring jobs, sitting or standing for hours on end in a hot, dirty environment, and so it is relegated to the unskilled laborers in the shipyard’s employ. Back in 2012, America lost a far more valuable asset, the multi-billion dollar attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755), because a shipyard worker, eager to leave work early, set the sub on fire. No matter how careful the maintenance, fire risk is inherent in every day of a ship’s life, even more while sitting pierside in a major maintenance period, and no navy in the world can eliminate it. The only thing mariners fear more than a fire at sea is a fire in a refitting vessel. In the case of the Miami submarine fire in 2012, the fire occurred in the Navy shipyard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, making the Navy financially responsible whether the ship or shipyard was at fault. And with the U.S. Navy and America’s shipyards continuing to tolerate losses and suffer near-misses, Congress must act, ordering up stakeholder testimony and studies to examine shipyard mishaps. The U.S. Navy already takes many careful steps in procedures and training to try to minimize the risks of fires and maintain the carefully planned operational and training commitments. Less than a week after the Bonhomme Richard’s fire, another Wasp-class vessel, the USS Kearsarge, undergoing maintenance in Norfolk, Virginia, suffered a minor fire, leading the Navy to stop all work on the ship temporarily. The Oscar Austin was at the tail end of a $41 million maintenance period.
On April 11, 2020, social media outlets reported a large fire on the Chinese navy’s new Type-075 carrier, with images of thick black smoke rising from several different points on the ship, including the superstructure, aircraft elevator, and well deck. A year earlier on Nov. 10, 2018, a major fire occurred on the USS Oscar Austin, during a year-long maintenance availability in the BAE Systems shipyard in Norfolk. Fires and accidents keep happening. USS James E Williams Investigation Part 1. Although the investigation is still pending, the fire was reported to have begun in a “cargo hold.”. executive for naval shipbuilder Austal USA, helping deliver Littoral It is still unclear whether crew shortfalls have contributed to any of these fires. And while observers may mock the demise of the Admiral Kuznetsov, America’s young sailors, shipbuilders and ship repair workers are equally at risk of falling victim to a culture that disregards well-thought-out regulations and feels that individual convenience outweighs the safety of the whole. The fragile state of shipbuilding and repair in the United States requires the Navy to repeatedly forgive and forget, or at least, forgive. But it is no secret among naval officers and crews that a ship in a maintenance period is at its most vulnerable, existing in a kind of “no man’s land” between operational and non-functioning. Miami became the first submarine to conduct combat operations in two theaters since World War II (Operation Desert Fox and Operation Allied Force).. 2012 fire. It’s not uncommon to have prospective gains diverted to higher-priority “deployers” so the ship in the maintenance period accepts the manpower shortage until the personnel system can provide a replacement — often as a result of that ship leaving the maintenance period and reaching “deployer” status itself. The crew itself is pulled in many competing directions, often sent off to schools for refresher training or to be trained on the new software and hardware being installed during the same maintenance period. Brass and copper have been known to disappear from ships only to be sold at nearby recycling stations. Industrial work on steel ships includes welding, grinding, and cutting of steel. The Groton, Connecticut-based USS Miami sustained $450 million in damages after shipyard worker Casey James Fury set fire to the Naval nuclear sub in 2012. America has too few ships and submarines to loose in avoidable accidents. At the very least, some of the burned debris from scaffolding, hoses, and equipment destroyed in the fire was the property of National Steel and Shipbuilding Company and the Navy now pays them to remove their own damaged equipment from a fire that they may have caused or to which they contributed. In a shipyard, many ship systems shut down, and critical passageways are often blocked by an array of cables, pallets and other flammable materiel as workers—who are often unfamiliar with the ship’s layout—carry out a variety of maintenance tasks.
The Russians are lucky they only lost two lives. Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week. Turkey’s newest helicopter landing ship caught on fire while leaving drydock in April of 2019, suffering minor damage. USS Miami (SSN-755) was a United States Navy Los Angeles-class attack submarine. You may opt-out by.
Avoidable shipyard accidents are sidelining far too many modern American ships. U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings and beyond.
With the decks covered and the ship’s passageways cluttered with extra hoses and wires, it feels completely foreign. Outside of the USS Miami, 11 U.S. sailors were injured last month in a fire on the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), a critical Marine-toting mini-carrier. In Russia, a spokesperson for the shipyard pointed to human error as the cause of its aircraft carrier fire but stated that the damage would not delay the vessel’s maintenance period. While the loss of an aircraft carrier, submarine, or large amphibious ship impacts every navy, the impacts to the U.S. Navy’s worldwide commitments are critical. According to news reports, that fire broke out after sparks from welding work entered a fuel handling area and ignited diesel fuel. Yet the risk remains. It took nearly five hours and support from neighboring ships and local fire departments to bring the fire under control. Many remember the devastating 2012 fire aboard the USS Miami, set by a disgruntled shipyard worker who wanted to get out of work early. There is nothing released publicly to indicate that shipyards or their parent companies are held accountable for incidents such as the Bonhomme Richard, Oscar Austin, or Iwo Jima — no announcements of penalties or fines paid by the contractor, and no losses of future maintenance contracts that are attributed to these fire incidents. In yet another warning flag for the U.S. Navy, the commanding officer of the USS Fitzgerald criticized the Ingalls shipbuilding yard for more than 15 fire safety incidents. The cause of the fire and extent of the damage has not been released but the ship left port to conduct sea trials as scheduled. Become a Member . The captain and his or her crew worry about all of this — the fire safety and security, the quality of the work being done, safety and cleanliness of the ship, the training of the crew — and preparing for the ship’s post maintenance life — the training, exercises, manning, and other events that will lead to the next deployment. Subscribe to Maritime Reporter Email News. The crews themselves are vulnerable to many additional risk factors: Maintenance periods often follow long deployments, homeport shifts, or other events that can cause turmoil in crewmembers’ personal lives, with increases in everything from drinking to relationship problems. On the other end of the spectrum, China and Russia will probably say nothing more about the causes, the extent of damage, or the costs to repair their capital ships. COPYRIGHT © 2019 WAR ON THE ROCKS. USS MIAMI was the fifth of the 23 improved LOS ANGELES - class attack submarines and the third ship in the Navy named after the city in Florida. Miami was the forty-fourth Los Angeles-class (688) submarine and the fifth Improved Los Angeles-class (688I) submarine to be built and commissioned. 3rd Class Mar’Queon A. D. Tramble). In June 2020, just a few weeks before the Bonhomme Richard’s fire, a French nuclear-powered attack submarine suffered a major fire while undergoing overhaul at the Toulon Shipyard in southern France. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. At 5:41 p.m. EDT on 23 May 2012, fire crews were called with a report of a fire on Miami while being overhauled at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. If the trends look bad, then the Navy should then be forced to encumber contracts for those yards that show a pattern of unsafe work and materiel losses. Navy Times On Nov. 14, 2019, the Bonhomme Richard’s sister ship the USS Iwo Jima suffered a fire in Mayport, Florida, during a maintenance availability. They document which hatches can no longer be closed, where quick disconnects are in the event of a fire, and which installed fire-fighting systems are disabled. Whether in the United States or Europe, it is difficult for governments to hold accountable companies that are barely afloat when those same companies are also needed to build future platforms critical to the defense of the nation.
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