Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 11, 2013

The Real Danger In The Strait Of Hormuz ...

... is the U.S. Navy.

Jan 10, 2013 - Navy Sub Goes Bump in the Night and Loses Its Periscope
The U. S. Navy's nuclear submarine USS Jacksonville was damaged early Thursday in the Persian Gulf when one of its two periscopes was struck by an unidentified vessel.

No one was hurt in the early morning incident and the submarine's nuclear reactor did not suffer any damage.

According to a statement from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, the Los Angeles-class submarine "struck a vessel while operating in the Persian Gulf Jan. 10 at approximately 5 a.m. local time."

The submarine "then surfaced from periscope depth to ascertain if there was any damage to the unidentified vessel. ..."

Aug 12 2012 - US Navy ship collides with oil tanker in Gulf
An oil tanker collided with a U.S. Navy destroyer near the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday but no one was hurt and shipping traffic in the waterway, through which 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil exports pass, was not affected, officials said.
...
The collision nevertheless left a gaping hole in the starboard side of USS Porter, a guided-missile destroyer suffered, but no one was injured on either vessel, the U.S. Navy said in a statement. The collision with the Panamanian-flagged bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan occurred at approximately 1 a.m. local time.
March 20, 2009 - 2 Navy Vessels Collide in Strait of Hormuz
A nuclear-powered United States submarine collided with a Navy warship early Friday in the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow passage through which much of the world’s oil must pass on its way to market, the Navy announced.

Both ships were damaged in the crash, and 15 sailors on board the submarine, the Hartford, were slightly injured, according to the Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain. A spokesman for the fleet, Lt. Nate Christensen, said none of the sailors needed medical evacuation and all were back on duty.

The other vessel, the New Orleans, an amphibious transport dock with 1,000 on board, ruptured its fuel tanks and spilled 25,000 gallons of fuel, he said.

The submarine was submerged, Lieutenant Christensen said, and the vessels were headed to port around 1 a.m. when the collision occurred. The fleet reported that there was no damage to the submarine’s nuclear reactor, and that both ships were able to return to port under their own power.

Jan 9, 2007 - U.S. Navy Submarine, Merchant Vessel Collide in Strait of Hormuz
No U.S. Sailors or merchant crew were injured when a U.S. Navy submarine and a commercial cargo vessel collided in the Strait of Hormuz on Jan. 8.

The collision between USS Newport News (SSN 750) and the Japanese-flagged motor vessel Mogamigawa occurred at approximately 10:15 p.m. (local time) in the Strait of Hormuz while the submarine was transiting submerged.

Sep 5 2005 - No Injuries as U.S. Submarine and Merchant Vessel Collide
No Sailors or merchant seamen were injured when a U.S. Navy submarine and a commercial cargo vessel collided in the Persian Gulf Sept. 5.

The collision between USS Philadelphia (SSN 690) and the Turkish-flagged M/V Yaso Aysen occurred at approximately 2:00 a.m. local time while the submarine was conducting surfaced operations as it transited to Bahrain for a scheduled port visit.

Note that the Strait of Hormuz is largely territorial water of Iran and Oman. While free "innocent passage" is allowed through such waters there are certain conditions for such. In the relevant part II of the UN Convention of the Law of The Sea Article 20 demands for Submarines and other underwater vehicles:
In the territorial sea, submarines and other underwater vehicles are required to navigate on the surface and to show their flag.
The submerged passing of the Strait by U.S. Navy submarines is not only against the UNCLOS demands but, as the cases above expose, a serious danger to regular ship traffic and the environment.

Posted by b on January 11, 2013 at 09:01 AM | Permalink

Comments

That is one of the reasons why a Ghadir class is preferable to LA-class in the PG.

Posted by: ATH | Jan 11, 2013 9:27:15 AM | 1

Does the law of the sea apply to the US Navy? ;)

Posted by: heath | Jan 11, 2013 9:50:20 AM | 2

"The Sea Article 20 demands for Submarines and other underwater vehicles:
In the territorial sea, submarines and other underwater vehicles are required to navigate on the surface and to show their flag".

No problem.KSA or one of the other gcc members will claim that the sub was there because they made a request or something like that.

Posted by: some1 | Jan 11, 2013 11:43:45 AM | 3

we don't need no stinking Sea Articles

might makes right

Posted by: dan of steele | Jan 11, 2013 1:25:46 PM | 4

Is it too much to ask from the Iranians to put up some traffic lights, buoys, and signal stations dead smack in the middle of the strait to properly direct humanitarian or research traffic of civilized nations such as ours? We wouldn't have incidents like this then. From what I hear, the sub was there to survey the endangered marine mammal population of the Gulf. We've been doing this for years, at huge costs, and really out of the goodness of our hearts and love for dolphins.

Posted by: Paul | Jan 11, 2013 1:26:53 PM | 5

U.S. subs have a long history of passing, without obtaining permission, underwater (in fact, under sea ice) through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

Posted by: Patrick Cummins | Jan 11, 2013 1:44:51 PM | 6

USN subs have a tendency to collide with other ships. Given their numbers, they do it much more often than USN surface ships. Or perhaps the surface ship collisions don't reported as regularly since minor incidents are not as threatening to the survival of crews and ships?

A USN sub is packed with all kinds of active and passive sonar, they should be aware of any ships near them. Their specialty is detecting other ships and avoiding them so they don't get detected themselves. That's the whole idea behind submarine attack. This shows that the crews are not up to snuff frequently because their equipment is more than capable of preventing these collisions.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 11, 2013 2:45:10 PM | 7

A USN sub is packed with all kinds of active and passive sonar, they should be aware of any ships near them. Their specialty is detecting other ships and avoiding them so they don't get detected themselves.

You mean like the air defence during 9/11, failed to do anything :-)

Posted by: hans | Jan 11, 2013 3:42:59 PM | 8

The Iranians are now exporting bullets to Africa. We need more sanctions to stem the flow of these weapons of mass destruction.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/world/africa/a-trail-of-bullet-casings-leads-from-africas-wars-to-iran.html

Posted by: Paul | Jan 11, 2013 6:16:09 PM | 9

Waking Up in Tehran

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Jan 11, 2013 6:38:03 PM | 10

LOL @ Paul. The Iranians are such big players in Africa! Our masters in DC don't want the competition.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/world/middleeast/us-foreign-arms-sales-reach-66-3-billion-in-2011.html?_r=0

Posted by: Goldhoarder | Jan 12, 2013 2:10:54 PM | 12

I guess I am dense, but are Paul's posts serious or satire?

Posted by: Brian | Jan 12, 2013 3:37:25 PM | 13

"are Paul's posts serious or satire?"

I would say the latter.

Posted by: вот так | Jan 12, 2013 6:42:54 PM | 14

It's easy to understand why the US Navy is so accident-prone. In approximate terms, the USA has the equivalent of at least ~20 navies (Battle Groups, Carrier Groups and Expeditionary Groups) each comprising ~20 (+/-4) ocean-going war ships ranging in size from large to huge. Forgetting for a moment the hundreds, if not thousands, of lesser navy boats - and remembering that the US Navy isn't involved in combat operation anywhere in the world - keeping track of all this aimlessly-circling hardware is a big job.

The main reason the USA has so many examples of (redundant) WWI hardware getting in each others way on the high seas, and is building more, is that Yankees haven't got much imagination and propping up inefficient US shipyards makes good (Corporate Welfare) sense to the 1% who own the shipyards (and the USG and Obama).

Wiki has more on B, C, & E Groups.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 12, 2013 8:36:00 PM | 15

Posted by: Paul | Jan 11, 2013 6:16:09 PM | 9

NYT hardly a serious source of good journalism

Posted by: brian | Jan 12, 2013 8:40:38 PM | 16

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