Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
An Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer was damaged after colliding with a commercial vessel off the coast of Japan, the fifth such incident involving a warship in the 7th Fleet’s area of operations in 2017 alone. But for once, the incident wasn’t the result of serious failures blamed on Navy watchstanders.
The Navy’s investigation into two separate collisions with commercial vessels involving two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers over the summer has found that both incidents were completely avoidable, the branch announced on Nov. 1.
7th Fleet, the U.S. Navy’s Pacific forward deployed naval force, has burned itself out; the cost of this burnout is poor readiness, loss of ships and equipment, and most importantly, sailors’ lives. Since January, four significant ship mishaps have occurred in the 7th’s area of responsibility (AOR), including fatal collisions with merchant ships for the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain. Those two incidents killed 17 sailors — significantly more than the number of U.S. service numbers lost in the Afghanistan war zone so far in 2017. This summer has been a watershed moment for the 7th Fleet family.