On Saturday, CBS News reported the collision of the USS Fitzgerald and the ACX Crystal, a large container ship. Unfortunately, seven sailors were killed in the collision.
CBS News reported:
The Fitzgerald was struck by the Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal. The Philippine ship is 29,060 tons and 730 long, the coast guard said, much larger than the 8,315-ton naval destroyer. Aerial television news footage showed its bow on the left side was dented and scraped, but it did not appear to have suffered any major structural damage.
…The Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer commissioned in 1995, is based in Yokosuka, according to the Navy. Its crew typically includes 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers and 291 enlisted sailors.
Not so fast. There seem to be some questions surrounding the incident. Thomas Lifson has posted two articles in The American Thinker–one yesterday and one today–that raise some questions as to what actually happened. For the sake of keeping related information together, I am going to combine facts from the two articles.
Thomas Lifson observes:
We received an email from a Navy Mother that raises serious questions. We will redact her name, while the rumors (and that’s how they must be categorized for now) reported by her son aboard the Fitzgerald are checked out. Here is what she wrote to us:
My son is assigned to the USS Fitzgerald. I am unable to share his rate with you.
The information is short and not so sweet. The implications are disturbing.
The ship is registered in the Philippines. We do not know who the owner is. The container ship neither had its running lights or transponder on. That is an action taken willfully. Furthermore, for the container ship to strike with such accuracy is troublesome. Given what some have done with cars in Europe, what a feather in the cap it would be to sink a U.S. Navy warship. Think on that.
My son missed being washed out to sea by the blink of an eye. He was on his way to one of the berthing areas that was rammed.
Yes, language is important. “Rammed” is the perfect word.
Loving and Concerned Navy Mother
If there is any substance to this – that the ACX Crystal disabled protective systems and rammed the Fitzgerald at high speed aimed at crtical facilities (evident from the damage)
…we have to consider the possibility of an asymmetric warfare attack designed to disable missile defense of a carrier strike group, as North Korea demonstrates the ability to make exactly such attacks on a multibillion dollar warship carrying thousands of sailors.
The American Thinker also quotes a report by the Associated Press:
Japan‘s coast guard is investigating why it took nearly an hour for a deadly collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a container ship to be reported.
A coast guard official said Monday they are trying to find out what the crew of the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal was doing before reporting the collision to authorities 50 minutes later.
There may be a very obvious explanation of the reporting of this incident. If the incident is in fact a ramming, rather than a collision, it requires a response. The first thing to find out is who owns the ACX Crystal and who was controlling the helm at the time of the incident. At that point, the Trump Administration has a choice–they can either roll over and play dead as the past administration did when something like this happened or they can respond with force. It is my hope that if this is proven to be no accident, the Trump Administration will respond with enough force to let whoever did this know that doing it again is a really bad idea. I don’t want to see the government overreact, but if this was not an accident, I do want to see our government react with strength.