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The Navy's Secret Investigation Into The USS Fitzgerald Collision Details A Disaster That Was Just Waiting To Happen
A previously-undisclosed internal investigation into the 2017 collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged container ship off the coast of Japan paints an disturbing portrait of operations aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, according to an explosive report by Navy Times.
- Obtained by Geoff Ziezulewicz at Navy Times and published on Sunday, the dual-purpose investigation completed less than two weeks after the June 17, 2017 incident details alarming lapses by bridge watch-standers and flagrant violations of standing orders.
- Nothing captures the disarray aboard the destroyer better than this detail of a visit by Rear Adm. Brian Fort, who oversaw the investigation, to the vessel's combat information center: "He saw kettlebells on the floor and bottles filled with pee. Some radar controls didn't work and he soon discovered crew members who didn't know how to use them anyway."
- Fort's diagnosis of the Fitzgerald's condition reflects the concerns of enlisted sailors previously detailed by Task & Purpose — namely low morale and sleep deprivation stemming from a high operational tempo "that left exhausted sailors with little time to train or complete critical certifications," per Navy Times.
- But the most damning part of the report is that nobody was ever supposed to see it: According to Navy Times, the results of the investigation were "kept secret from the public in part because it was designed to prep the Navy for potential lawsuits in the aftermath of the accident."
- The full report from Navy Times is absolutely worth your time. Read it here.
SEE ALSO: Escape From Berthing 2: The Navy's Dramatic Timeline Of The USS Fitzgerald's Fatal Collision
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
The Defense Department just took a major step towards making the dream of a flying drone carrier a reality.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's air-launched and recoverable X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle finally conducted a maiden flight in November 2019, Gremlin contractor Dynetics announced on Friday.