Friday, March 20, 2009

Lessons Not Learned (Submarine + LPD)

Flashback to January 27, 2002, about 40 nautical miles off the coast of Oman:

While transferring personnel from USS GREENEVILLE to USS OGDEN(LPD 5), the hull of OGDEN and GREENEVILLE's stern plate came into contact which resulted in a rupture to one of OGDEN's fuel tanks. The 5-by-18-inch long rupture was below the waterline at the back on the right side. Both ships continued to operate safely and GREENEVILLE headed toward Diego Garcia for an underwater assessment. Source

No one is saying a calamity has been repeated, even if the above source is to be believed.

Curiously, neither the Ogden's nor the Greenville's CO was relieved of duty after the incident.

In other words, whatever hazardous transfer evolution occurred was too important not to condone, despite the hazard to both vessels. Hmmm.

The obvious questions:

If USS Hartford was not involved in another transfer evolution with an LPD (USS New Orleans), why did it allow itself to be overrun by the LPD? Subs usually want to maintain minimum distance to surface vessels.

How do we know the LPD overran the sub? How else would a collision of the two rupture the LPD's centerline fuel tank(s)?

Considering that the Navy may have conducted a secretive transfer operation in the relatively narrow and highly surveilled Strait of Hormuz, what deception(s) of the enemy was involved?

We will not attempt to answer these questions, and do not expect you to answer them, either.

Have fun thinking about the possibilities, however, unless you are the enemy, in which case you should stay up all night and stew with NECESSARY worry and anticipation.

Submarine are always silent and strange.



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