Navy Adopting Changes After Collisions At Sea
In the wake of the collision between the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) (below left) with the Liberian-flagged Alnic MC off the coast of Malaysia east of the Strait of Malacca on August 21, 2017 and the earlier collision of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) (below right) with the Philippine-flagged merchant ship ACX Crystal, the US Navy is adopting some new as well as some old technologies to improve their crew’s situational awareness. Well actually their both pretty old techniques. The Navy has at now instructed commanders to use their Automatic Identification System, or AIS, as discussed in the 28 through 31 August edition of FOD. It has been around for some 20 years and has long been required aboard all commercial vessels. It is used to share vital information among ships, including the type of vessel, its name, speed, location and whether it might be on a collision course with another ship. “It’s important for situational awareness,” says John Konrad, an author who has also captained commercial vessels. “AIS is certainly not the only means to avoid collisions at sea, but it’s an important tool.” And the other tool is perhaps the oldest one out there – get some more sleep for watchstanders. On ships at sea, officers and senior enlisted leaders have ignored the fact that a lack of sleep jeopardizes individual performance and unit readiness. That ‘tradition’ unmarred by progress has extended itself from the days of wooden sailing ships when crews served 4 on and 4 off for months at a time because that was what was required to service a sailing ship at sea. Earlier this month, Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, the commander of the U.S. Surface Fleet, issued an internal directive that ordered more predictable watch schedules and sleep periods for sailors. So it was welcome news when the Navy announced recently that the surface fleet would issue new sleep and watch schedule rules.
The NY Yankees beat the Twins in the AL Wild Card Game 8-4.
And congrats to the Arizona Diamondbacks who beat the Rockies 11-8.