Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1/29/2013 USS GUARDIAN AGROUND IN PHILIPPINES Updated 12/15/20156


Project expected to take a month. 

The destroyer USS MUSTIN stands by at left. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelby Sanders) 

    " Our only supportable option is to dismantle the damaged ship and remove it in sections,” Capt. Darryn James, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said Jan. 29.

The decision, James said, keeps salvage equipment in deeper water and minimizes further damage to the coral reef.
The salvage plan, he said, aims to “safely remove individual sections of the ship without causing the release of harmful materials.”  from article by Christopher P.Cavas in INTERCEPTS, the official blog of DefenseNews.
 Yesterday we offered the opinion in these pages that the USS GUARDIAN was a "constructive total loss" as the term is used in marine insurance. Today the Navy confirms that the ship is not only a constructive total loss but is physically, scrap. Now that details of the additional inbound salvage vessels are available we can see that the needed vessels for lifting and transporting the ship intact were never on order. Cutting the ship has obviously been the plan for days. 
(OPINION:) The loss of a U.S. Navy combatant ship, even a small mine sweeper should have been  a matter of national concern and attention, especially in the Pacific. 
"The loss of the Guardian is a serious blow for the stressed U.S. mine force, which has been called on to expand operations in the Persian Gulf. Including the Guardian, 12 of the fleet’s fourteen mine countermeasures ships are currently operating overseas or forward-deployed to the Far East or the Persian Gulf region.
The ships, which date from the late 1980s and early 1990s, were to have been replaced by new littoral combat ships, but lengthy delays in fielding new LCSs have led to renewed investment in the older ships, which have been upgraded and improved at considerable expense." from the linked INTERCEPTS article.

Editor's Note 12/15/2015 We've found many of the original stories available on the Internet have been pulled, but a nice summary with links exists on Wikipedia. Follow this link American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies to read more extensively on this now historical ship loss: Wikipedia on the USS GUARDIAN

Yet we have found that what little media attention there was appeared largely confined to maritime news and naval news sources and internal government "house organs". The idea that the present "Salvage plan", actually more of an "environmental clean up plan" will take a month concerns us. Break up and haul away on a delicate reef are not tasks that can be done in heavy weather. A month of fine weather is a lot to ask for in any part of the ocean. We will continue to follow this story for you simply because it is so important and gets such little attention from the American general media.  We will also follow the investigation which continues..

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