Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 07, 2019

U.S. 7th Fleet Cruiser Ignores Rules At Sea - Nearly Collides With Russian Destroyer

The accident prone U.S. 7th fleet is again in trouble.  CNN sensationally reports of a near collision of a U.S. navy ship with a Russian navy one:

The United States and Russian navies are at odds over an apparent near collision in the Pacific Friday with each side blaming the other. The US and Russian warships came somewhere between 50 feet and 165 feet of each other, according to the two opposing reports, with both sides alleging their ships were forced to perform emergency maneuvers to avoid a collision.
"A Russian destroyer .... made an unsafe maneuver against USS Chancellorsville, closing to 50-100 feet, putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk," US Navy spokesman Cmdr. Clayton Doss told CNN in a statement.

"This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision," Doss said.

The US guided-missile cruiser was traveling in a straight line and trying to recover its helicopter when the incident occurred, he said. "We consider Russia's actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional," Doss said.

There are international nautical rules that apply to any ship at sea. Those rules give no special right to any ship that is traveling in a straight line or tries to recover a helicopter.

The Russian navy says that its ship had the right of way and that the U.S. ship hindered its passage:

Russia has voiced a protest to the US command after its guided-missile cruiser hindered the passage of the Admiral Vinogradov anti-submarine destroyer some 50 meters in front of it, forcing the vessel to perform a dangerous maneuver, the Pacific Fleet’s press service told reporters on Friday.

The incident occurred at 6.35 a.m. Moscow Time in the southeastern part of the East China Sea, when a task force of the Russian Pacific Fleet and a US carrier strike group were heading in parallel directions. "The US cruiser Chancellorsville suddenly changed its course and crossed the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer’s course some 50 meters away from the ship. In order to prevent a collision, the Admiral Vinogradov’s crew was forced to conduct an emergency maneuver," the press service said.

The U.S. Navy provided CNN with a picture of the incident taken from a helicopter. It clearly shows that U.S. ship was in the wrong and that the Russian view of the incident is the correct one.


The picture shows both ships with their bows towards the camera. The ship seen on the left is the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov. The ship seen on the right side of the picture is the U.S. cruiser Chancellorsville. The stern waves show that the Russian ship was on a straight course and made a last-minute maneuver by taking a sharp turn to its right to avoid an imminent collision.

To judge the situation one must take the view of both bridge crews at the time before the emergency maneuver happened. The crew of the U.S. cruiser saw the Russian ship coming up on its right or starboard side. The crew of the Russian ship saw the U.S. ship coming up on its left or port side. The rules for such a crossing of courses at sea are clear.

The Handbook of Nautical Rules lists as the International Maritime Organization Rule 15:

When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.

The book explains further:

Rule 15 requires the vessel that has the other on its starboard side to stay out of the way, and to pass behind. The vessel on the right becomes the stand-on vessel and must follow Rule 17 (Action by Stand-on Vessel). The vessel on the left becomes the give-way vessel and must follow Rule 16 (Action by Give-way Vessel).
The give-way vessel is required (if the circumstances of the case admit) to pass behind the stand-on vessel and so a turn to starboard would be in order. To keep the area to the left of the stand-on vessel clear for the give-way vessel's maneuvers, Rule 17 directs the stand-on vessel to refrain from turning to port.

Rule 16 says:

Every vessel which is directed to keep out of the way of another vessel shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.

and Rule 17:

Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way the other shall keep her course and speed.

It is evident from the picture that the U.S. navy cruiser had the Russian destroyer on its starboard side and that both ships were on a collision course. It was therefore the U.S. ship that had the duty to 'take early and substantial action' to keep out of the way and that it had to avoid crossing ahead of the Russian vessel. The Russian ship correctly kept its speed and course until the situation required a last-minute maneuver to avoid an imminent collision.

In the breathless video report of the incident the CNN Pentagon reporter explicitly says that Russian ship was on starboard of the U.S. ship, but repeats the nonsense claim by the U.S. navy spokesperson that the U.S. ship was in the right and that the Russian ship made an "unsafe maneuver".

The crew of the Chancellorsville should call itself lucky. Russian ships are build with a strong bow to travel in icy waters. Had the Admiral Vinogradov not made the emergency turn to its right, its bow would have cut their ship in half.

The home port of the Chancellorsville is Yokosuka, Japan. It belongs the U.S. 7th fleet which has a record of bad seamanship. Two years ago the Washington Post reported:

The collision of the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker on Aug 21 — which left 10 sailors dead — was the culmination of more than a decade of nonstop naval operations that has exhausted the service.
In January, the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay, leading to the commander’s dismissal. In May, the cruiser USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing boat. And roughly a month later, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship in the approach to Tokyo Bay. Seven sailors died and the destroyer’s commanding and executive officers were relieved.
The Antietam, McCain and Fitzgerald are all in the 7th Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan, raising questions over whether there are particular problems in that command. The 7th Fleet is responsible for 48 million square miles in the Pacific and Indian oceans, the Navy said. Swift also dismissed its commander, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin.

All the above incidents were caused by the crews of the U.S. navy ships. When one reads reports of those incidents one finds that the 7th fleet ships are undermanned and badly maintained. Its crews are insufficiently trained. They obviously do not know the basic international rules at sea or how to handle their ships.

It should be CNN's task to point that out instead of blabbering about 'Russian harassment of U.S. ships'.

Posted by b on June 7, 2019 at 14:51 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Nothing is clear except for the typical MOA bias.
There now...let that hate flow through you.

Posted by: JoeG | Jun 7 2019 15:11 utc | 1

except this bad behavior by the USA [and yes the Russians who could have slowed their approach and remained on the same straight course] is standard for the US and Soviet navies during the Cold War.

nada to do with poor maintenance of the 7th fleet ships.

right, the CNN is treating its viewers as idiots by presuming no one knows this basic rule of the sea.

Posted by: Jay | Jun 7 2019 15:19 utc | 3

"... trying to recover its helicopter..."

In an attempt to grasp at any conceivable grounds to explain the Chancelorsville's actions, they throw in helicopter recovery--as if a helicopter is comparable to landing an aircraft on a flight deck, where everyone who's watched Top Gun knows the carrier should be heading straight into the wind at best speed. But what in the hell does an incoming helicopter have to do with a ship's course and speed?

Posted by: J Swift | Jun 7 2019 15:27 utc | 4

thanks b... we'll see how the msm spin this one moving forward...

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2019 15:30 utc | 5

@joeg Everyone with IQ higher than 70 can clearly see the reality. Keep your hate for yourself and FO.

Posted by: Hestroy | Jun 7 2019 15:32 utc | 6

Last Putin's interview - ( use http://Translate.Ru to read )

START treaty expires in 2021 and no one wants to prolong it and so Russia won't too.
Despite that, Russian rockets are best in the world and we will protect out motherland.

....and a small "casual" remark that it was START that prohibited deploying munitions into Outer Space, and this prohibition ceases to be in 2021.

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 7 2019 15:36 utc | 7

A secure military power doesn't have to disobey the rules of the sea to try to show that it's the boss. An insecure country might, though.

Posted by: worldblee | Jun 7 2019 15:37 utc | 8

Last Putin's interview ( the link is banned on MoA blog )

START treaty expires in 2021 and no one wants to prolong it and so Russia won't too.
Despite that, Russian rockets are best in the world and we will protect out motherland.

....and a small "casual" remark that it was START that prohibited deploying munitions into Outer Space, and this prohibition ceases to be in 2021.

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 7 2019 15:38 utc | 9

As a result of the incident, how many American sailors had to change diapers?

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 7 2019 15:46 utc | 10

The US is an exceptional country and takes exception to the law of the sea.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Jun 7 2019 15:46 utc | 11

Posted by: Michael Weddington | Jun 7, 2019 11:46:11 AM | 10

The US is an exceptional country and takes exception to the law of the sea.

The law of the sea only?

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 7 2019 15:47 utc | 12


The Associated Press:

The U.S. government on Wednesday will reclassify some of the nation’s most dangerous radioactive waste to lower its threat level, outraging critics who say the move would make it cheaper and easier to walk away from cleaning up nuclear weapons production sites in Washington state, Idaho and South Carolina.

The U.S. Department of Energy said labeling some high-level waste as low level will save $40 billion in cleanup costs across the nation’s entire nuclear weapons complex. The material that has languished for decades in the three states would be taken to low-level disposal facilities in Utah or Texas, the agency said.


Posted by: John Smith | Jun 7 2019 15:53 utc | 13

Might makes right. So it was American ship that was on the right side of history and of Russian ship, regardless how Russian hackers did fake CNN video and photo by direct orders of Putin!

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 7 2019 15:55 utc | 14

@J Swift #4

Well, maybe it was DJI quadro-copter and its batteries were depleted? Y'know, those toys are pretty expensive and no one gonna waste a precious copter out of Russian envious stubbornness!

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 7 2019 15:57 utc | 15

@ JoeG | Jun 7, 2019 11:11:05 AM | 1

Oh my, check COLREGS prior to spouting nonsense.

Posted by: Hmpf | Jun 7 2019 15:58 utc | 16

"The collision of the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker on Aug 21 — which left 10 sailors dead — "
They named a ship after John McCain I 10 Sailors died.
What an awful irony. His Grandson was involved in an incident where 134 sailors and airmen died.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jun 7 2019 16:05 utc | 17

Those rules give no special right to any ship that is traveling in a straight line or tries to recover a helicopter.

In an effort to find out more on this story I made a number of searches. One result had a video of retired Admiral John Kirby declaring the recovering of a helicopter most certainly did give the US ship special rights. This hack also claimed because the Russians were the first to complain, that was proof-positive they had pre-planned the entire episode.

I gave up when a Fox report said this:

The Navy subsequently released video and a satellite image showing the two vessels sailing perilously close to one another.

The authors and editors of that piece identified a picture taken from a helicopter as one from a satellite! That's an indication of the quality of the reporting I found.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 7 2019 16:09 utc | 18

So in reading the COLREGS, please take notice of:
Application section 4 pertaining to warships and the COLREGS
Rule 3 - Definition of a vessel "restricted in their ability to maneuver"
Rule 8 - Actions to avoid collision
Rule 18 - Responsibilities between vessels

And a link to the Canadian COLREGS, which are the same as all internationally agreed upon COLREGS, including Russia and the USA.,_c._1416/FullText.html

Posted by: SailorJay | Jun 7 2019 16:10 utc | 19

I think its safe to say they are both as bad as each other here, on the open sea there is no need for 2 vessels to get within a mile of each other, let alone meters. Neither took action to prevent this until it was almost too late.

Posted by: JDL | Jun 7 2019 16:13 utc | 20

Good boys, bad boys, better boys, worse boys...

What could happen after two military ship sink one another in direct view of their military fleets, each reeking of anti-ship missiles?

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 7 2019 16:15 utc | 21

ZH has posted the US navy footage.It appears the CNN footage is flipped, with Ru. keeping straight course as obliged and US approaching on port side of Ru. ship. Hence it was US obligation to avoid because it had Ru. to starboard.???

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 7 2019 16:16 utc | 22

Not too difficult. When driving and approaching a four way stop, cars arriving simultaneously, the car to the right has the "right of way " (i.e., proceeds through the intersection first). Easy to remember - right has right of way. Starboard is the right side of the ship (when facing the front/bow of the ship).

It is hard to say if this was incompetence or an intentional provocation to blame more shit on Russia. The idiocy of the US gives enough plausible deniability to go with the former.

Posted by: c matt | Jun 7 2019 16:21 utc | 23

The Russian ship came from behind and accelerated to a distance of 50 feet. This forced Chancellorsville to engage all engines full back to to avoid collision.

Posted by: Den Haag | Jun 7 2019 16:22 utc | 24

If the USS Chancellorsville was recovering a helicopter, which restricted her ability to maneuver, she should have been displaying the correct lights and shapes per Rule 27 (b). So far, no reporting, or photo or video evidence, has mentioned this fact at all. The 7th Fleet has been forced to send undermanned ships to sea for years now, leading to the tragic consequences of 2017.

Posted by: PeterVE | Jun 7 2019 16:24 utc | 25

The Russian vessel was coming from behind (even if at an angle) and must give way to the vessel it is overtaking. That is the rule.

Posted by: Bardi | Jun 7 2019 16:44 utc | 26

@ PeterVE | Jun 7, 2019 12:24:33 PM #24

Good thoughts about those light! I took a look at the link posted by SailorJay #18, and the text was pretty clear. If the US ship was displaying the proper warning lights, it would seem to be the innocent party here. If it wasn't, the Russians have a very valid complaint.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 7 2019 17:01 utc | 27

JDL 19
I agree. B gave the rules on the ship to the left as far as right-of-way on the seas but it sounds like both sides are players of a dangerous game. The initial story I read this morning mentioned the near incident of a Russian fighter and US "spy plane" in the Med in an offhand manner. So I had to look that up, too. It looks like both parties are playing brinksmanship. The US because of the neoclowns pushing Trump; the Russians because they're tired of the US BS.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 7 2019 17:02 utc | 28

#23 with video
#25 about the rules

and more:


The stern waves show that the Russian ship was on a straight course and made a last-minute maneuver by taking a sharp turn to its right to avoid an imminent collision.

Oh, it is?
Look at a picture from more distance:

Look at the bigger picture:

Posted by: Den Haag | Jun 7 2019 17:14 utc | 29

i look forward to pls take on this, or is that him @1?? lol...

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2019 17:20 utc | 30

@28 den.. the boat in the picture on the left has the right of way... the one on the right looks like it didn't change course to accommodate it either..

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2019 17:22 utc | 31

further to that, the wake of the boat on the left looks like it was forced to put the engines in reverse...

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2019 17:23 utc | 32

@Den Haag #28
The other pictures show both ships headed for each other on a converging course.
But it doesn't matter - the ship with the other on its right (starboard) is supposed to turn.
Yes, the US ship may have had to reverse engines to avoid a collision, but that isn't relevant with regards to the accepted practice of navigation on the open sea.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 7 2019 17:29 utc | 33

Bottom 45 sec video posted here at :35-:38 shows what appears to be a straight line course of the Russian ship just prior to the point where it makes its turn in the still photo above. The first vid posted shows nothing about course or proximity of the two ships and is worthless. The video shot from the helo would show the situation best, but it wasn't released, and the question to be asked is Why Not?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2019 17:32 utc | 34

Comparing the wake of each ship, it looks as though the Ru ship is, and had been, traveling much faster than the Chancellorsville in the 3 or 4 minutes prior to the photo being snapped. The bow waves are interesting too. The bow of the Ru ship is planing (like a speed boat). The Chancellorsville is virtually dead in the water and the flurry of foam beside its stern supports the Yankee assertion that it was in "All Engines Reverse Full" mode as Captain Jean-Luc Picard was fond of saying (when snared by a tractor beam).

My guess is that the Russians decided to have a spontaneous game of Chicken, sped up, misjudged the point where their courses intersected, and 'lost' - due to the Yanks deciding to join in and play Chicken too, by slamming on their brakes and forcing the Russians to swerve.
It sounds a bit half-assed, but the picture shows that had the Yanks accelerated when the Russians did, the Chancellorsville would have been a ship-length or more through the intersection before the Ru ship got there.
Rules 1, 2 and 3 of Chicken are: First to blink loses.
The Russians blinked. Imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 7 2019 17:34 utc | 35

If b is wrong and critics, like Den Haag, right it is very bad news for the US Navy in that it suggests a new confidence and aggressiveness-of the 'bring it on' variety so treasured in DC- among its opponents.
Most likely though is that old standby where US naval and military sloppiness is involved-sheer incompetence and gum chewing arrogance.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 7 2019 17:41 utc | 36

I fish the ocean quite often and was out yesterday in quest of halibut. My state requires those piloting a vessel with an engine rated at 9.9HP or more to have passed the Marine Boaters Test and thus get approval of the Oregon State Marine Board. The rules in question in this incident and the many I have faced are the same. Apparently there are numerous boat/ship operators who are supposed to be qualified but aren't. In this case, it would be the officers in charge of the helms on the two ships. The Outlaw US Empire's Navy is well known for its dangerous maneuvering and arrogance regarding navigation of international waters. It's also known to prevaricate on just about every subject imaginable and thus its credibility isn't worth a sou. If the US Navy's behavior was proper, then why not immediately release the helo video; why release two videos, one of which shows nothing of importance and the other very little? Until more evidence is produced, both ships were under power; neither was performing something that inhibited its ability to navigate; thus, the vessel to port was obliged to yield to the vessel to starboard, as I've been instructing my stepson in proper navigation rules so he can pass his Marine Board Test.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2019 17:47 utc | 37

@ 34. So you served in the U.S. Navy then?

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jun 7 2019 17:55 utc | 38

I was inclined to think this was proposital, but then I remembered these kind of accidents usually leave many casualties among sailors.

Americans in general have a lot of difficulty with the concepts of "left" and "right"; instead, they use "north" and "south" -- "north" being the side which is pointing to their eyes direction and their dominant side and "south" being pointing to their backs/the recessive side. If they learned the concepts of starboard and port as the equivalents of left and right, then it is very possible this was a case of the sailors simply inverting the two.

Posted by: vk | Jun 7 2019 17:59 utc | 39

@ Hoarsewhisperer #34: "The bow of the Ru ship is planing (like a speed boat)."

Lol. I gues this shows how much you know.

Russian Navy Udaloy Class Destroyer

Posted by: Pair | Jun 7 2019 18:13 utc | 40

@Den Haag (23, 28)

You're full of it!
'Den Haag'= The Hague -- are you aligned with Lying & Cheating LLC, i.e. Dutch Government, or the Raam op Rusland agitprop outfit by any chance?

Posted by: bjd | Jun 7 2019 18:44 utc | 41

« Which one is « Starboard » again ? »

« Somebody google « Starboard »! »

-US crew

Posted by: Featherless | Jun 7 2019 18:46 utc | 42

"when a task force of the Russian Pacific Fleet and a US carrier strike group were heading in parallel directions."

US may have been trying to force the Russian task force further away from its carrier group.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 7 2019 18:47 utc | 43

Regarding encounters with US warships, think it would be wise to use the same strategy as if encountering a blacked out drunk with rabies wielding a loaded machine gun.

Even if I was in the right I would still prefer to keep my distance if at all possible.

Posted by: Zack | Jun 7 2019 18:48 utc | 44

Lol. I gues this shows how much you know.
Russian Navy Udaloy Class Destroyer
Posted by: Pair | Jun 7, 2019 2:13:17 PM | 39

I have to agree with that. Shoving that big bulb along underwater doesn't really comply with my definition of planing, either:-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 7 2019 18:53 utc | 45

The BBC offers a more 'neutral' narrative

One of them - or maybe even both - was at fault. Both sides blame the other. But this kind of incident is becoming ever more frequent and it does generally seem to be the result of a concerted policy by Russia to challenge US and its allies naval operations whenever possible.

Often these incidents occur in the Black Sea which Moscow sometimes regards as its own lake; a view with which other states on its shores - some of them Nato members, or aspiring Nato members - disagree

Posted by: ninel | Jun 7 2019 19:03 utc | 46

Not enough information to really come to a definite conclusion.

Rules of the sea, as already mentioned above, is for starboard-over port. These ships are equipped to plot a course and determine if in collision with another craft. USS Chancellorsville looks like failed to yield to the Admiral Vinogradov, as required.

I wonder if their historical vectors will be released/published? I have not been able to find them in marine tracking web sites. Were their AIS turned off?

Posted by: JaimeInTexas | Jun 7 2019 19:09 utc | 47

Were it a British ship, I might understand the mistake, but that's a US one, one of the numerous countries where priority is given to cars coming from the right.
Though I disagree with B about the 7th Fleet. You don't fuck up like that because of bad management, overworked crews or other silly excuses. You fuck up like them because it's pretty much official standard policy to act like arrogant jerks because you're the US Navy and everyone else has to bow to you, whatever you do, wherever you are.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jun 7 2019 19:18 utc | 48

Every ship has copy of COLREGS. These are on line as well. Read them before you say silly things. Keep a personal copy... Make up test-game to run next time you sail. Fun exercise. Always play "whatif" when afloat...

These rules are drop dead simple. Most US persons with boating experience have some familiarity with them. Test questions on the COLREGS set up complex situations...a submarine, a tanker, a sailboat, some jet-skiers, a few motor-sailors (some under power, some not), and all at night (you have to know what the pretty lights mean)in a dredged a typical sketch for test-questions.

I passed these tests the first time, and my experience was zero. I simply read the COLREGS, once. Only an idiot can fail such exams.

Somehow I do not believe the Ruskies allow idiots to con their warships...but about the US navy, well...

An incorrect answer is a fail.

More seriously, what were secret orders in at-fault captain's safe? Repeat Gulf-of-Tonkin? What is it that was supposed to happen?

Posted by: Walter | Jun 7 2019 19:26 utc | 49

Having been an officer of the deck & navigator on a 7th Fleet ship homeported in Sasebo, Japan, this is a story I have a little relevant expertise.

In the big picture, warships from different countries that aren't conducting planned exercises should not be this close. Outside of being in straights or a channel... five nautical miles of separation is "safe". Between five and one nautical mile the anxiety level increases. Within one nautical mile... dude, you're in my personal space.

Both captains were willfully operating within ranges that were completely inappropriate, unless they were told to provoke an incident.

The U.S. ship had two details working in its favor for a claim of "right of way".

But to reiterate, having an avoidable collision at sea is still screwing up. USS Chancellorsville (CV-62) is a Ticonderoga class cruiser. Taking one out of commission out of pride or to prove a point... that's an important piece of military hardware.

The details that support the United States:

a. Flight operations do qualify as "restricted in ability to maneuver". I would be shocked if USS Chancellorsville (CV-62) wasn't displaying the day shapes to convey that the ship was "restricted in ability to maneuver". The day shapes are visible at a respectable range, especially through binoculars.

BTW, someone in the conversation said that aircraft carriers need wind for flight ops but helicopters don't. This is incorrect. Ships are supposed to have certain wind envelopes for helicopter flight ops too.

But the general point that there's a little more flexibility with helicopters is true. Helicopters can break off an attempted landing. They don't dump fuel before landing.

b. If the Admiral Vinogradov was approaching from behind 22.5 degrees behind the beam of USS Chancellorsville (CV-62) and the Admiral Vinogradov was at a higher speed, the rules about overtaking would have been in play.

The detail that cuts in favor of the Admiral Vinogradov was the port-starboard rule already being discussed. But weighed against the overtaking & the restricted in ability to maneuver... I think the Admiral Vinogradov was in the wrong in a narrow legalistic sense.

In the larger sense, both the captains were behaving irresponsibly if they were not under orders to manufacture this sort of thing.

I have some ideas about what's going on in Seventh Fleet. But that's another discussion.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg | Jun 7 2019 19:27 utc | 50

"If to starboard red appear, 'tis your duty to keep clear".

Posted by: Guy Thornton | Jun 7 2019 19:35 utc | 51

Slightly irrelevant...however...
From a Battle Of The Sexes point of view, I formulated a theory 40 or so years ago that the difference between Boys & Girls is...
"Girls grow up. Boys just grow older."
When girls finish crashing through the Glass Ceiling childish incidents like this one will become far less common because ADULT girls will be in charge instead of OLD boys.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 7 2019 19:36 utc | 52


Minor correction. The USS Chancellorsville is CG-62. CV is a bit larger "boat."

CG-62 may have been overtaking but it clearly was not "clear" and should not have attempted to cross the bow, especially when CG-62 had to reverse engines to avoid contact. If CG-62 was ahead, reversing thrust was the last thing it should have done.

I want to see the plots.

Ultimately, these games of chicken have been going on since, at least, the cold war.

Posted by: JaimeInTexas | Jun 7 2019 19:40 utc | 53


It will be utopia when the Hillary Clinton types rule the roost.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 7 2019 19:57 utc | 54

Carl Nyberg @49--

You provide an excellent point about the requirement to display navigational intent signaling in the case when a vessel's clearly underpower but is still incapacitated in its maneuverability. If such was the case, and the proper signal flags displayed, then why hasn't the Navy made any mention beyond saying it was in the process of recovering it's helo, which was clearly in a stand-off position filming the entire event. IMO, just saying "recovering" doesn't carry the same weight in a Maritime Court of Inquiry as saying "The proper navigational flags were ordered and put on display at xxxx hours, Zulu, which was noted in the log as you can see here."

IMO, the burden of proof falls on the US Navy. Calling Captain Queeg to the stand.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2019 20:05 utc | 55

It will be utopia when the Hillary Clinton types rule the roost.
Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 7, 2019 3:57:31 PM | 53

That's why I said when girls FINISH crashing through...
At this point in TBoTS many ambitious women, such as HRC, choose the "blokier than the blokes" path in order to bully their way to the top.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 7 2019 20:14 utc | 56
Chancellorsville is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and assigned to Carrier Strike Group 5 supporting security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Given that the USS Chancellorsville is part of a carrier group as the Russian version says, and the fact that the US constantly lies... most likely the Russian version is what happened. The US ship broke of the carrier group which was travelling parallel and turned onto a collision course with the Russian ship.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 7 2019 20:17 utc | 57

I can't find a single time stamp on this story less than 4 hours old.
It has been killed. Enough wise men like b have explained naval code that finally the US navy has killed it.
It really looks like it won't be in the papers in the morning.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jun 7 2019 20:21 utc | 58

Meanwhile in other NATO related news:

"U.S Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan says. There is a bipartisan plan in Congress to impose sanctions on Turkey under the Anti-Enemies Act of America if Turkey gets the S400 deal."

Will Trump be smart enough to veto this bill, or is he ready to accept the loss of Turkey as a NATO member and all the NATO bases it contains? Seems few within TrumpCo are capable to thinking strategically, when they think at all.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2019 20:38 utc | 59

To look at photo, it would at first appear that the Russian ship would have reached point of intersect first, in which case it would have right of way. However, it also appears possible that the U.S. ship was indeed slowing which would have been completely un-helpful under the circumstance, has the affect of blocking the Russian ship. Were they slowing as a stunt or because they were too inept to realize that that would increase the risk of collision.

First ship to the intersection would in some regard have the right of way, but if there is risk of collision then the port ship is supposed to yield (slow down/ turn - has to be planned maybe a mile or more in advance) and the starboard ship would maintain speed and course. It can be dicey as I understand it as the rule requires one party to hold it course in spite of natural reaction to change course and for this reason the bridges are supposed to establish communication and plan how they will handle the crossing. But that is to some extent a courtesy because in practice, what are you going to do about it?

Posted by: jared | Jun 7 2019 20:45 utc | 60

From b's link.
"Large anti-submarine ships of Project 1155 are designed to fight adversary nuclear submarines in the ocean zone, ensure the operation of Russian submarines and protect surface warships."
"In the summer of 1992, the U.S. Navy instituted a concept that mandated greater task group integration of naval air and surface warfare assets into a more permanent carrier battle group structure. Each of the Navy's 12 existing carrier battle groups consisted of an aircraft carrier; an embarked carrier air wing; cruisers, destroyer, and frigate units; and two nuclear-powered attack submarines.[10]"
"A U.S. Navy carrier strike group typically includes: ... Up to two attack submarines, used to screen the strike group against hostile surface ships and submarines, but which also carry Tomahawk missiles for long-range strike capability.":

This is most likely why the US ship turned to intercept the Russian anti submarine ship.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 7 2019 20:48 utc | 61

It is disappointing MoA chose to write an incomplete article. The rules cited by MoA in the article pertain to a standard crossing situation in which "risk of collision" exists. However, if the USN ship was "engaged in the launching and recovery of aircraft", and the fact that a helicopter was in the air to take the picture would suggest so, then the USN ship would be "restricted in her ability to maneuver" because of the nature of her work as defined by Rule 3.g.(iv). Under Rule 27.b.(ii), by day a vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver shall display the dayshapes ball-diamond-ball where best seen. The picture provided does not provide the clarity to discern if the USN ship was displaying the ball-diamond-ball dayshapes, but it is assumed so since it is such a basic part of the USN checklist for aircraft operation. All that said, MoA should have cited Rule 18 as applicable instead of Rules 16 and 17. Rule 18.a.(ii) states a power driven vessel, the Russian Navy ship, shall keep out of the way of a vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver, the USN ship. In this situation the USN ship becomes the stand-on vessel and is required to maintain course and speed while risk of collision exists, and the Russian Navy ship becomes the give-way and is required to keep clear. We'll probably hear no more about this game of "chicken" which was practiced regularly by both navies back in the '70's. The USN has voice recorders of ship-to-ship radio transmissions as well as electronic chart recorders interfaced with their surface radars to provide real time data for situations such as this to present when filing their reports. Since no painted was busted, it probably won't go any further than that. Too bad people are quick to see the USN in a bad light when they have no experience to judge.

Posted by: Tyrtull | Jun 7 2019 20:48 utc | 62

When this sort of thing happens sailors shout "STARBOARD!" at the top of their lungs toward the offender in person and sometimes on VHF channel 16 that way other ships / ports know there is an idiot to stay away from.

Posted by: TJ | Jun 7 2019 20:53 utc | 63

62 "Too bad people are quick to see the USN in a bad light when they have no experience to judge."

The constant stream of propaganda and straight out like eliminating from the US political and military establishment give many a lot of experience. This incident is a political incident so more bullshit emanating from the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 7 2019 21:03 utc | 64

Tyrtull @62--

Clearly, you failed to read my comment @55. I'll repeat: If the proper signal flags were deployed, why didn't USN say so, as it has not. As for "experience to judge" USN actions, myself and other commentators here certainly do have such experience, AND given USN's lack of credibility, two strikes already exist for seeing it "in a bad light." Furthermore, a pic lifted from the video made from the helo was released to the press, but the video was not as myself and others have noted; the question for the USN to thus respond to is Why Not!?

As I concluded @55, the burden of proof resides with USN.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2019 21:06 utc | 65

Judging by the comment thread, these boys are hard at work.
"Mass Communication Specialist (abbreviated as MC) is a United States Navy occupational rating. MCs practice human-centered design to develop creative communication solutions and align communication strategies and tactics to leadership’s intent; conduct research and develop audience profiles; prepare, process, and print publications and media products; create sketches, storyboards, and graphics; design publications; produce still imagery, and written, audio, video, and multimedia information products; collect, analyze, and report media project and communication plan feedback and performance information; create media project plans; conduct community outreach, news media operations, leadership communication operations, and organizational communication operations; plan and direct communication campaigns and events and serve as communication advisors to commanders; and develop content strategies, create data stories, and ensure communication products and experiences are designed to enhance understanding and discoverability. MCs serve aboard ships, in expeditionary units and at shore commands in the United States and overseas.[1]"

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 7 2019 21:09 utc | 66

@66 peter au.. it was like that on the boeing 737 max threads too.. it seems fairly predictable..

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2019 21:24 utc | 67

@Carl Nyberg #50

If the Admiral Vinogradov was approaching from behind 22.5 degrees behind the beam of USS Chancellorsville (CV-62) and the Admiral Vinogradov was at a higher speed, the rules about overtaking would have been in play.

You phrase this in the conditional here, but in your next paragraph you assume the overtaking rule does apply. What is your basis for saying Admiral Vinogradov was approaching “from behind 22.5 degrees behind the beam of USS Chancellorsville”?

Just eyeballing the photo at the top of the post, I’d say the ships look like they were closer to each other’s beam than that, though I’m not pretending that’s an authoritative opinion either.

Posted by: David G | Jun 7 2019 21:27 utc | 68

Peter AU 1 @66--

Thanks for providing that info! It's difficult to defend a lie particularly when the truth is available or evidence for it is obviously being withheld as in this case. In the CNN item b links at top, if the ship had deployed the proper signal flags, such would have been stated and might be proven via the helo's video. But it wasn't stated and the helo's video wasn't made available; easy points for any Perry Mason acolyte to note. Another hypothesis:

The helo was deployed in a stand-off position to video what was to occur--the alleged provocation by the Russian ship. Otherwise, why was it airborn? ASW operations? But that would have to be signaled, broadcast and noted in the log as well. An explanation up thread was most logical: The cruiser was ordered to ward off the Russian ship as it was getting too close to the carrier task force and this incident resulted; the helo was in the air to record the encounter for future training purposes. The Cruiser had to do something to make the Russian ship alter its course and did so. If this is correct, it's too bad the USN can't just admit what occurred instead of lying and trying to cover the lie. Didn't anyone learn from Nixon or Pinocchio?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 7 2019 21:31 utc | 69

We don't know anything about the maneuvering that preceded the two ships adopting their collision-prone headings. Was one officer-of-the-deck negligent, as in drunk or just low-IQ? Were two officers-of-the-deck negligent, same? Was one or both intending a publicity stunt on the basis of orders from higher authority? I am tempted to blame the cruiser for this incident, as no one has right-of-way on the basis of aircraft recovery. But we don't know, and I don't think we will ever know what actually happened, until members of the deck crew (or bridge personnel) from both navies state publicly what they saw of course changes in the hour preceding the near-collision. I wish luck to all the men and women on both ships. I hope all in the chain of command will cool down and wake up. There are times when orders are to be disobeyed. And going public about deteriorating conditions in the Seventh Fleet is a patriotic act, if that is the truly the problem.

Posted by: Robert | Jun 7 2019 21:41 utc | 70

"The picture provided does not provide the clarity to discern if the USN ship was displaying the ball-diamond-ball day shapes, but it is assumed so since it is such a basic part of the USN checklist for aircraft operation."

The day shapes are chosen so that they are recognizable even in poor visibility conditions. The signal halyards would be from the yards of the mast behind the bridge to some point behind the bridge but at the same level. Even in the fuzzy CNN photo, you can see that there are not any day shapes. The assumption that US Navy crews actually perform basic checklists may itself be presumptuous.

Posted by: Texas Redneck | Jun 7 2019 21:56 utc | 71

My guess is the Russian anti submarine ship was on a parallel course to keep track of the US attack submarines with the carrier group. US ship was sent out to push it away. As you say, the helicopter may have been sent out to capture some video or stills that could be used to back up the 'US is innocent' propaganda already planned.
One thought on this - If the Russian ship did not change course, with the US ship slowing under reverse thrust, the Russian ship most likely would have hit it somewhere near the center. A great video of a Russian ship aggressively ramming a 'peaceful and innocent' US ship.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 7 2019 21:56 utc | 72

My post @72 was reply to karlof1 post @69

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 7 2019 21:59 utc | 73

A 1:49 video filmed from the US vessel. The cameraman was taking lieusurely closein shots of the Russian vessel's comms systems. The two vessels were sailing close to parallel fpor all this time and there is a view of the infamous Russian sunbathers on the helicopter landing platform.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jun 7 2019 22:03 utc | 74

There are rules. And if they're in doubt, the operator's driving record comes into play. I believe one of these operators had to cancel all their fleet operations recently because they could'nt keep from hitting stuff. Case closed.

Posted by: Ralph Conner | Jun 7 2019 22:11 utc | 75

There was something on Press TV about the US ship getting too close to a Russian UUV undergoing trials / on a covert op which caused the Russian escort ship to intercept the US ship.
Apparently the US had an ASW capable chopper in the air which was a treat to the UUV so the Russians gently reminded the US that they should back off.
This happens with all sides regularly without too much of a fuss. The Russians have decades of history of warning off the US and UK in this way, and it never involves anyone getting hurt or even weapons getting pointed. It is just a firm but non-violent way of getting the other side to back off.
Rarely is a fuss kicked up and the crews on both sides often use these encounters as a photo op, so why the Americans have decided to make an issue out this one is anyones guess.

Posted by: Abe Jonson | Jun 7 2019 22:24 utc | 76

What I want to see are the tracks of the men-of-war for the three hours prior to this event. b, please respond. You are the best.

Posted by: Robert | Jun 7 2019 22:34 utc | 77

It strikes me as somewhat suicidal for a Russ destroyer to challenge a US guided-missile cruiser. Who ordered this confrontation? What was their motive? Did the cruiser intentionally cross the destroyer? Did the destroyer intentionally cross the cruiser? Where are the tracks of three hours prior?

Posted by: Robert | Jun 7 2019 22:40 utc | 78

Without any evidence, I am thinking this is just another double-navy eff-up. For all you black-shoes out there, my sympathies. Army here, back thirteen generations. I wouldn’t be surprised at any mistake you made.

Posted by: Robert | Jun 7 2019 22:45 utc | 79

Moon brothers, as talented as b is, he makes mistakes, too. We all do. But his condemnation of the 7th Fleet may be pre mature. We will see. And our brother b will tell us what he finds about the tracks of the war-ships for the three hours prior to the staged near-collision... at least, I hope he does. Luck, b. Will be hard to do...

Posted by: Robert | Jun 7 2019 22:51 utc | 80

This seems relevant (YouTube video).

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 7 2019 23:26 utc | 81

@66 This story is now completely dead in the media. It is as though every member of the MSM has been told to shut up about it.

It seems captain, helmsman and MC have all screwed up here but have been rescued by the nice people who tell the press what to write.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jun 7 2019 23:28 utc | 82

NPR had a short discussion about it in their first news hour this morning. We'll see if there's any follow-up tomorrow.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 8 2019 0:17 utc | 83

OK, I'll post it then....

This is the transcript of a radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States' Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that's one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.


Posted by: b4real | Jun 8 2019 0:23 utc | 84

CBS News in its report provides clearer pictures of the USN craft that disclose the flying of no navigational warning pennants whatsoever, first at :14-:16, then :40-:44, 1:06-1:11, all of which are merely one still shot taken from the helo's video made to give the appearance of movement. The still photo does provide a little better look at the headings each ship was on, and the pic is temporally much earlier in the encounter than the one provided by CNN. I didn't bother listening to the CBS narrative as the reporting clearly focused on the manner in which the Russian sailors were enjoying their cruise. But as I note, there's zero evidence of any navigational pennant being flown by the USN ship to say it's conducting helo recovery. It's possible other networks were provided with other snippets, but I haven't bothered to look. For me, the still photo displayed by CBS provides all the evidence I need to prove in a Maritime Court of Inquiry that the USN ship was in the wrong in this incident.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 8 2019 0:26 utc | 85


Apparently you didn't read "b" post and know nothing about Russian vs US ship construction:

"The crew of the Chancellorsville should call itself lucky. Russian ships are build with a strong bow to travel in icy waters. Had the Admiral Vinogradov not made the emergency turn to its right, its bow would have cut their ship in half."

There are a lot of other idiotic comments at the US Navy site:

Posted by: Krollchem | Jun 8 2019 0:31 utc | 86

I call bullshit on the "recovering an helicopter" excuse. The vision shown is from a helicopter positioned well ahead of the intersection of the two tracks. Helicopters are recovered at the rear deck, not the front. Clearly the helo was not trying to land at the time of the incident

82 sums it up nicely. The Yanks f..ked up, yet again.

Posted by: eagle eye | Jun 8 2019 0:43 utc | 87

@84 b4real.. thanks for that. i remember someone sharing that a number of years ago! it was told slightly differently but same theme..

Posted by: james | Jun 8 2019 1:01 utc | 88

Fascinating story. Great discussion. Love the jargon.

The US cannot believe it has become the give-way vessel. It acts like the stand-on vessel in every circumstance.

All of its opponents - which must surely be at least two-thirds of the world by now? - are waiting for the moment. Until that moment, the world will do what it can to preserve its own infrastructure, equipment and lives, even if it means to yield a little bit.

How little to yield? A few square miles out of a patch of 48 million square miles. Not much to have to yield. Until that moment.

What is that moment? It is the moment when one of the dynamic players - Russia or China or Iran maybe, or any hot spot in the world - encounters the situation wherein the US both must and can be slapped.

The nature of the moment will be that commanders and their supercomputers all agree that the US must take the slapping. Because of domestic politics, or from whatever cause, the US cannot escalate to nuclear winter, but must take the slapping.

In this moment, the true stand-on vessel will force the US to give way. And to take the slapping.

We will all know it when it happens. The whole world, whether loudly or quite silently, will know it.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 8 2019 1:10 utc | 89

Posted by: Robert | Jun 7, 2019 5:41:03 PM | 70

My sympathies are with the crew too. The reckless heroics of the bridge gang are deplorable. These encounters do not happen at high speed. Minutes go by. Both vessels should have been aware of their potential for close encounter.
If the yankees were on a recovery maneuver exercise they should have detected a hazard approaching and in range of being serious and simply deferred the exercise until it could be conducted free of distraction. They had ample time to display appropriate flags. The yankees have a serious blind spot as evidenced by two previous collisions referenced in posts above.

The Russians could easily have adjusted course to pass behind the yankee vessel. All these ships have more than adequate electronics and personnel to calculate converging course and time of encounter. That they chose to come so close could indicate a FU attitude or perhaps they were on a 'collision stations' maneuver in real time. It is also probable they were monitoring US communications systems that are limited in range and only detected up close. Understanding those systems enables one to build a jamming device. The crew on that vessel would have been mighty anxious too.

Hyped egos, poor training and warships are a very stupid mix. See the Forrestal debacle where the ships fire crew were wiped out in the first response and untrained sailors sprayed the deck with water rather than foam thus washing fuel below decks and setting the stern ablaze.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 8 2019 1:13 utc | 90

Mikhail Zadornov is perhaps the most beloved and popular Russian humorist of the last decades. Unfortunately, the artist died in 2017.
He had a performance that fits perfectly with the occasion described in this article.
I will simply give the translation of the speech (it is rather short). Sure that any additional comments are not required.

Recorded conversation between the Spaniards and Americans on the 'extreme situations at sea' frequency.

Spaniards: Says A-853, please turn 15 degrees south to avoid colliding with us. You move right on us. The distance is only 25 nautical miles.

Americans: The captain of the US ship is talking to you. We advise you to turn 15 degrees to avoid colliding with us.

Spaniards: We consider your offer impossible and inadequate. We advise you to turn 15 degrees south to avoid crashing into us.

Americans (another voice, in raised tones): Richard James Howard, commander of the aircraft carrier Lincoln of the US Navy, the second-largest warship of the US Navy, speaks to you. We are accompanied by 2 cruisers, 6 jet fighters, 4 submarines and numerous support ships. I do not advise, I order you to change course by 15 degrees to the north. Otherwise, we will be forced to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of our ship. Get out of our course.

Spaniards: Juan Manuel Salez Alcanar speaks to you. We are two people [here]. We are accompanied by a dog, dinner, two bottles of beer, we are supported by one canary, who is now sleeping. We are not going to turn anywhere, considering that we are on land and are a beacon. We have no idea what place we occupy among the Spanish lighthouses. You can take all of your fucking measures for your safety, but if you don’t turn aside, your fucking Lincoln will break on our rocks.

Posted by: alaff | Jun 8 2019 1:20 utc | 91

Here we have manual: Helicopter-Ship-Operations. From page 37, Section 5.4.1:

"The ship should display the signals required by Rules 27(b)(i) and (ii) of the IMO International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS). Alternatively, International Code Flag 'D' may be flown."

"D" translates as "Keep clear of me." From COLREGS, "Day shapes" mentioned above would be "1 ball+1 diamond+1 ball" organized vertically, which translates as "Restricted in ability to maneuver" (here).

But none of what the Regs require is visible--none! Russia wins its case, and it was all too easy!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 8 2019 1:42 utc | 92

Sorry for typing "CV-62" instead of "CG-62". I was assigned to USS Independence (CV-62) 1994-96 and my brain autocompleted incorrectly.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg | Jun 8 2019 2:05 utc | 93

In my experience US Navy Public Affairs Officers are ignorant of what they are commenting on by design. They can't give up too much if they know nothing beyond the party line and enough jargon to dazzle the journalists.

The failure to mention USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) had the appropriate day shapes flying is simply too in the weeds for the PAOs and admiral's staff who wrote the press release/story.

There's a checklist for going to flight ops. Part of the checklist is to tell the signalmen to fly the "H" flag and to raise the restricted in ability to maneuver day shapes (ball-diamond-ball).

Even if the officer of the deck & the helicopter control officer did fail to tell the signalman to do those things, the vast majority of signalmen would have reminded the OOD. Signalmen have relatively few things to pay attention to, so they are pretty self directed.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg | Jun 8 2019 2:14 utc | 94

Grieved @89--

Putin's Slaps at the SPIEF as summarized by RT. Missing from that summary are the answers he provided to the traditional Q&A panel he holds with international media leaders at SPIEF which I'll relink for those who missed it--particularly his first in relation to global security and the unilateral withdrawal of the Outlaw US Empire from its fundamental treaties. (I'm miffed the transcript's still not complete.)

With this incident, as I stated above, it would have been better for the truth to be told than to lie and then lie again to support the initial lie.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 8 2019 2:26 utc | 95

I reserve the possibility that a more detailed analysis shows I'm wrong but I think it's pretty clear that early in the video, the Admiral Vinogradov, is well behind the 22.5 degrees behind the starboard beam of USS Chancellorsville (CG-62).

Again, I repeat, both ships were far outside what would be considered prudent.

Arguing that one side is technically more incorrect neglects that 80-98% of the near collision was caused by both ships, both captains going down a path that I consider irresponsible, reckless & pointless.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg | Jun 8 2019 2:27 utc | 96

@ Carl Nyberg | Jun 7, 2019 10:14:19 PM #94

Are you saying it's a safe assumption the US cruiser was displaying the correct signals for restricted maneuvering? If so, do you expect somebody to produce photographic evidence of that?

Somebody was looking for a confrontation here. If I was guessing, I'd say it was likely the US as retaliation for the airplane interceptions the Russians have been pulling lately. Is it possible the Chancellorsville was part of a larger US naval group? Information on the incident remains mighty sketchy and about all I can find so far is the "He said/She said" stuff.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 8 2019 2:29 utc | 97

Strikes me as a staged event with both sides cooperating. Have to keep up the interest in Fake Wrestling.

I am reminded of t the famous 1953 statement by Rowan Gaither, President of the Ford Foundation, to Congressional investigator Norman Dodd.  

Mr. Gaither said: "Mr. Dodd, all of us here at the policy-making level of the foundation have at one time or another served in the OSS [the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA] or the European Economic Administration, operating under directives from the White House. We operate under those same directives...The substance of the directives under which we operate is that we shall use our grant making power to so alter life in the United States that we can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union."

66 years hence, its almost mission accomplished, and hardly anyone sees it

Posted by: Pft | Jun 8 2019 2:30 utc | 98

Was the helicopter from USS Chancellorsville (CG-62)?

If the helo was from a carrier, the helo was almost certainly not planning to land on USS Chancellorsville (CG-62). This means USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) was not at flight ops.

If the U.S. cruiser was not at flight ops, the situation is closer to being ambiguous.

Again, that things got this close involved bad decisions on both sides.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg | Jun 8 2019 2:35 utc | 99

Zachary Smith, a clear photo, preferably from the Russian ship, should clarify if the ball-diamond-ball day shape was flying.

Asking what ship the helo launched from will clarify this too.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg | Jun 8 2019 2:37 utc | 100

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