Yet, another crash of a United States Navy vessel has occurred on the 7th Fleet. A Japanese tugboat that lost control of the vessel and crashed into the USS Benfold. Once again, the question of why is this being isolated to 7th Fleet, and how is The Navy allowing this to happen being asked. But, the answer has been sitting at their doorstep the entire time. Sailors are exhausted, overworked, and just plain tired. Thankfully, the damage to the USS Benfold was minimal and no injuries to the crew happened during the collision.
Of course, unlike the former two collisions, the strike between then tugboat and the USS Benfold was not directly caused by improper watchstanding or personal responsibility of the crew. Hell, I’d be hard-pressed to accuse the Japanese of negligence because unforeseen events such as loss of control can and does happen to potentially anyone. Whether the seizure was caused due to improper maintenance of the boat or some unknown reason is still under investigation, but that’s not going to answer what the response to the event was.
Few details regarding the situation have been released to the press, but one could plausibly assume that the Japanese ship sent out a message regarding its situation once the loss of control happened. Unless the events literally happened within minutes of one another The Navy or the Japanese Self Defense Force should have been able to reply. They should have at least been able to send a rapid response team to deviate the course of the ship. But, why didn’t any of this happen? I’m afraid until the official reports come out, then no one will really know. I guess we should be thankful for the fact that nothing serious came out of this particular event, but if it had?
7th Fleet is currently undergoing a lot of scrutinies. The results of the one-day stand down, revealing what sailors have been complaining about for years. Exhaustion, fatigue, poor ship conditions due to shortened repair periods all happening throughout the entirety of The Navy. Further analysis reveals the attitude of The Navy as a whole needs to change in order to alleviate the pressure on the ships and sailors. But, who’s going to take the first steps towards these changes? Is the 7th Fleet going to be the leading movement in finally taking a step back and analyzing which missions are critical and those which are not? It’s not going to be easy.
The Navy is a complex military entity that requires careful planning and execution in order to succeed in its mission. But, people are complex entities as well, and sadly if you run them like automatons at full speed then they will cease to function like any complicated machinery. The people in Congress and Washington D.C. need to take a closer look at what’s not working with 7th Fleet and try to make changes accordingly. If nothing changes, then the trend of collisions won’t either, but there is hope. As with any entity that is constantly evolving, there are some potentially positive changes that can be implemented. But, it will take a strong person of moral character to try and push for them, lest their words fall on deaf ears. Change is a slow and procedural progress, yet they can make it happen if they try.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.