Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart(left) / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton (right)
On June 17th, 2017, United States citizens woke up to the tragic news of a U.S. destroyer, USS Fitzgerald, being hit by a cargo ship and seven sailors losing their lives. Just two months later, on August 21st, 2017, another destroyer of the same class, the USS John S. McCain, was struck by a cargo ship injuring 5 sailors. As of now, 10 are missing and some remains were found by divers but have not been identified.
As this is an op-ed piece, we just want to say, “what the hell is going on?” The news of USS Fitzgerald was tragic but one can trump it up to poor training, negligence or simply a freak accident. Having two similar crashes happen in so close a time frame is almost incomprehensible.
These Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are some of the most advanced ships in the world. They’re built to be highly maneuverable but not only that they are there to defend other ships. They’re equipped with missiles that can detect and shoot not only enemy planes but other missiles right out of the sky, yet, both weren’t able to dodge massive cargo ships.
The Navy stated they will conduct thorough investigations into both incidents and are not ruling out any options. They are even considering possible cyber attacks which could have interfered with the ships’ crews reading radars and other signatures that could have helped avoid the collisions.
Either way, something needs to be done to show other countries that the world’s greatest navy can’t be taken out by a slow moving ship you can see from miles away.
So what do you think? Is it training, budget cuts a series of unfortunate events or something else? Let us know in the comment section.