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Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Will Gaskill

Although much of America’s attention has focused on finding the causal factors behind Monday’s collision between the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) and a Liberian-flagged oil tanker off the coast of Singapore, we should not ignore the strategic impacts, either. They’re big and worrisome.

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Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton

The Navy on Aug. 24 publicly disclosed the identities of the 10 crewmembers lost in the USS John S. McCain collision last weekend, announcing the suspension search-and-rescue operations for the nine sailors who are still missing.

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U.S. Navy

As a Navy “blackshoe” surface warfare officer, I saw firsthand how our fleet’s leaders have more missions than they have ships to fill them. I watched flag staff in a command center wrestle with operational problems that would have been easier if they’d had more hulls, more ships, of just about any kind of surface combatant. The Navy’s go-to workhorse destroyers are too expensive to fill the gap, and its recent small-ship programs have been plagued with problems.

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