WINTER ICE ON THE ST. LAWRENCE MISSION KILLS USS LITTLE ROCK TILL MARCH
111006-N-DX698-001 WASHINGTON (Oct. 4, 2011) An artist rendering of the littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Jay M. Chu/Released)
Virtual Reality Tour of USS LITTLE ROCK
A "mission kill" is anything that stops a naval asset from being able to complete its mission within
the expected time frame. A mission kill can occur from the application of kinetic energy such as shot and shell resulting in physical damage short of constructive total loss or actual sinking. Other types of "mission kills" may include geographic blockage stopping a naval asset from reaching its intended theater of operations. Imagine part of the Atlantic fleet attempting to reach elements of the Pacific fleet being held up by a physical blockage or mechanical breakdown on the Panama Canal, which by the way is now operated under contract by COSCO Shipping of China. A mission kill can also be induced through sabotage, the proverbial monkey wrench in the works, that keeps a ship in the yards or at the repair dock longer than anticipated. Our Navy is now down, thanks to the Obama administration and his more recent predecessors, to less than 300 ships to protect our global interests against the potential depredations of a number of actual enemies such as Iran, and potential opponents such as China and Russia. China alone now has a 600+ ship navy, not of the highest quality but constantly improving. At our present ship count we can't afford any mission kills. The latest two we have done to our selves.
Our newest littoral warship the USS LITTLE ROCK (LCS 9) won't be available to fleet commanders till some time in March. She was is stuck in Montreal, Canada in mid winter and was caught by ice in the St. Lawrence. As you may well imagine this good will tour wasn't the brainchild of the Commanding officer, but we'll give you one guess who gets the blame , if any, for this "mission kill".
The closure of the St. Lawrence Seaway is a not unexpected weather triggered event. Yet the ship was ordered on this "mission" and has now been lost for the purpose of any combat or presence mission in any contested part of the world until mother nature decides to let her go.
Read the Washington Post Account of the Adventure of the USS Arkansas: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2018/01/22/the-navy-built-a-fast-agile-warship-for-440m-its-been-stuck-in-ice-since-christmas-eve/?utm_term=.3b9024c20cdf
A COLLISION AT SEA PUTS THE USS FITZGERALD IN THE REPAIR YARD FOR POSSIBLY TWO YEARS
|USS FITZGERALD IN HAPPIER DAYS, PHOTO USN|
In June of 2017 the USS FITZGERALD (DDG 62) collided with a merchant ship in the Far East, and on January 18,2018 the damaged ship reached a repair facility in Mississippi. The FITZGERALD was so heavily damaged in the accidental collision that she had to be delivered to the Pascagoula repair yard by the heavy lift transport M/V TRANSSHELF. There were lives lost in this collision which resulted in what will probably be a two year "mission kill". The self inflicted "mission kill' of the FITZGERALD will be especially hard felt as it was an active and deployed to the Pacific fleet guided missile destroyer. Unlike the USS LITTLE ROCK the FITZGERALD was on station and working in the active national defense. Now the hard pressed Pacific fleet is denied her services possibly for as long as two years. The Navy has placed the lion's share of the blame on the Commanding officer, but there are voices who think the contributing factors in the form of standard Navy / Fleet bridge team organization and manning standards played a major part and that such an accident was inevitable due to the standard procedure tending to dilute situational awareness on the bridge. Could this be a case of a self inflicted "soft kill" as a result of administrative overkill /micro management. We really should at least ask, based on the standards in force today, how much information going into the navigation bridge really needs to go there in ordinary cruising conditions vice information that should be gathered, processed, and filtered by the CIC (Combat Information Center). There is one thing for certain. We can't afford mission kill, and we have no excuse for Navy brass generated mission kills.
Read the U.S. Naval Institute's coverage of the collsiion: https://news.usni.org/2017/06/16/destroyer-uss-fitzgerald-collides-japanese-merchant-ship