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Thread: Fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6)

  1. #31
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    She's clearly listing a bit to starboard

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    From The War Zone blog:

    Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck addressed reporters at 11:00 AM local time in San Diego to provide new information on the ongoing fire aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) that has now burned continuously for 27 hours. The press conference follows a terrible night for the ship, which saw the fire expand to its bridge and greater island superstructure, partially melting its upper forward portion. The ship now lists at the pier as firefighting efforts continue at a frantic pace from both the air and the ground.

    • It is thought that two decks separate the fire from the ship's fuel reserves. The Admiral says the Navy is doing everything they can to make sure it doesn't migrate there.
    • No welding was reported in the area of the fire when it broke out.
    • At least significant parts of the automated halon firefighting systems were offline at the time of the fire. Enhanced pier-side fire watch readiness posture was supposedly in place.
    • 415 Bambi Buckets of water have been dropped on the ship by three MH-60S Seahawks from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Three (HSC-3) based out of nearby Naval Air Station North Island.
    • 160 people were on the ship when the fire began.
    • 400 sailors are now involved with fighting the fire aboard the ship.
    • The area where the fire started, which was the lower vehicle storage area, was filled with cardboard, rags, drywall, and other combustible material.
    • The fire is producing temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees.
    • Extreme heat in and under the island and in the bow.
    • There is a list that they are trying to correct via dewatering as part of a larger balancing act of keeping the ship stable while also fighting the fire
    • Five remain hospitalized and in stable condition out of 57 that have been treated at the hospital.
    • There is burn damage throughout the skin of the ship.
    • Due to the ship undergoing maintenance, there is debris scattered throughout the passageways of the ship making it challenging to safely fight the fire.
    • There are no plans to let the ship burn down to the waterline.
    • The Admiral is not aware of the fire being in the ship's critical engineering spaces.
    • Crews are keeping a close eye on the environmental air quality and so far it has been within EPA limits.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  2. #32
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    A new live feed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbkq6A26z0
    It's nighttime so hard to tell for sure, but it looks like the fires are mostly out. Daytime will tell for sure.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebard View Post
    A new live feed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbkq6A26z0
    It's nighttime so hard to tell for sure, but it looks like the fires are mostly out. Daytime will tell for sure.
    I take it back. They are still water-bombing.

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    From Forbes:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/craigho.../#4919531e76a9

    Some key paragraphs:

    Article: While the extent of the damage is unknown, the fire has been intense enough to buckle structural steel and melt the tires on vehicles parked on the flight deck. Given the extent of the damage, the ship will, at a minimum, be out of service for years, and may well be written off as a total loss.

    -- the buckling of the Constellations Forecastle deck didn't prevent her from commissioning and sailing for forty years, but that fire happened when she was being built, not halfway thru her service life.

    Article: It is not like the Navy hasn’t been warned. The fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard broke out—in an ironic note—just across the pier from the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), freshly back from a multi-year refit after a fatal 2017 collision at sea. During that ship’s multi-year refit, the USS Fitzgerald’s captain grew so concerned about fire safety practices that he wrote a promptly leaked memo for the record noting more than 15 separate fire safety incidents in the yard, including “poorly staffed fire watches, a smoldering deck, combustible material catching on fire, the discovery of previously unreported burnt-cable spot fires and fires that melted equipment.”

    -- Captain of the USS Fitzgerald noted lack of fire safety practices during her refit/repair. I wonder if some of the same contractors worked on both ships? This is far from my area of expertise, the physical proximity of the two ships may be happenstance as the author does state the Fitzgerald is "freshly back... from refit":

    -- List of six ships damaged by fire since 2011:

    Article: America’s Navy has seen these scenarios play out far too many times. In 2012, America lost the multibillion-dollar attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755) because a shipyard worker, eager to leave work early, set the sub on fire. Last year, 11 U.S. sailors were injured in a fire aboard the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), a critical Marine-toting mini-carrier. USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) also suffered a fire in November 2018, and subsequent damage will keep the ship out of the fleet for almost two years longer than planned. According to USNI News, the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) suffered a shipyard fire as well. In 2011, a fire torched the stacks of the USS Spruance (DDG 111). Other recent shipyard mishaps have included over $30 million worth of damage to the future destroyer Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) after a collision in April 2019. These, along with other avoidable incidents—fires at sea, groundings, collisions and other accidents—have essentially sunk or sidelined an entire U.S. battle fleet.""
    Last edited by looking4NSFS; 14 Jul 20, at 14:42.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by looking4NSFS View Post
    Article: It is not like the Navy hasn’t been warned. The fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard broke out—in an ironic note—just across the pier from the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), freshly back from a multi-year refit after a fatal 2017 collision at sea. During that ship’s multi-year refit, the USS Fitzgerald’s captain grew so concerned about fire safety practices that he wrote a promptly leaked memo for the record noting more than 15 separate fire safety incidents in the yard, including “poorly staffed fire watches, a smoldering deck, combustible material catching on fire, the discovery of previously unreported burnt-cable spot fires and fires that melted equipment.”

    -- Captain of the USS Fitzgerald noted lack of fire safety practices during her refit/repair. I wonder if some of the same contractors worked on both ships? This is far from my area of expertise, the physical proximity of the two ships may be happenstance as the author does state the Fitzgerald is "freshly back... from refit":

    --
    Well I am an Acquisition professional. I would love to know what the contract statement of work says about the requirements. Because if the government doesn't write it effectively in the SOW you can't fault the contractor.

    Is this the result of diminishing industrial base...i.e., you can only get 3 companies to bid on work...one is Northrop Grumman/Lockheed Martin and the other two are Earl's Bait, Aerospace & Shipbuilding. Meaning you either pay for massive amounts of overhead for the amout of work actually performed or you have to accept massive risk to get the work done. See that way too much in my professional life.
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  6. #36
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    I sure would have liked to hear from Rusty on this vis a vis his Navy shipyard LBNSY and Mare Island. Closing those Navy yards was definitely a boon for private yards or is it a boondoggle?

  7. #37
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    I'm sure there is no ambiguity or lack of procedures that were precisely included in the bidding and contract documents. Navy ships are constantly and continuously under repair so I couldn't imagine that anything might have been overlooked there as regards to fire prevention. Somehow the fire started and there weren't that many people on board, it may have burned for a significant time before it was discovered, and by that time, things start to spread quickly and overwhelm the normal fire party. We'll have to wait until an investigation is completed to have any idea of how this happened.

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    Just highlighting a few bullet items attributed to a seemingly authoritative source.

    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post

    Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck addressed reporters ...

    • At least significant parts of the automated halon firefighting systems were offline at the time of the fire.
    • The area where the fire started, which was the lower vehicle storage area, was filled with cardboard, rags, drywall, and other combustible material.
    • No welding was reported in the area of the fire when it broke out.


    .
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  9. #39
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    Looks like the worst is over, but they're still cooling the hull


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    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  10. #40
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    Navy Says At Least One Fire Continues To Burn On The USS Bonhomme Richard

    U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck, head of Expeditionary Strike Group Three, says that the USS Bonhomme Richard is stable and structurally safe despite a still ongoing fire onboard the Wasp class amphibious assault ship. The vessel has now been burning continuously for more than 48 hours now and has produced sustained temperatures of at least 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas.

    Sobeck addressed reporters at Naval Base San Diego, where the Bonhomme Richard is still pier-side, on July 14, 2020, during his third press conference in as many days. He was joined by the commanding officer of the base, Navy Captain Mark Nieswiadomy, Navy Region Southwest Environmental Director Jason Golumbfskie-Jones, head of Coast Sector San Diego Captain Timothy Barelli, and Federal Fire San Diego Chief Mary Anderson.


    The key new details from this latest press conference are:

    • The ship is stable and the structure is safe.
    • No major damage to the ship's four main engineering spaces.
    • No threat to the ship's fuel tanks at present.
    • The fuel tanks are well below any of the remaining active fires or heat sources, so any risk to them at this point is low.
    • The ship has salt water-filled compensation tanks that also help keep the fuel tanks cool.
    • There is at least one active fire in a forward area of the ship.
    • Firefighters had been unable to get to those spaces until today.
    • There is another heat source that could be another fire aft.
    • These two areas are isolated from each other.
    • Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Three (HSC-3), based at nearby Naval Air Station North Island, has conducted more than 1,200 water bucket drops, in total.
    • In addition to other external firefighting operations, these drops have been essential in allowing firefighters to actually get on the ship.
    • 61 personnel have been injured, in total, so far, 38 sailors and 23 civilians.
    • None of those individuals are hospitalized.
    • An explosion occurred while the crew was securing the space where the initial fire had broken out before they could safely energize the fire suppression system.
    • The fire spread rapidly from the front to the rear of the ship.
    • Navy is working with San Diego authorities to step up monitoring of potential adverse environmental impacts.
    • Coast Guard is prepared to respond to any potential environmental issues, including an oil spill.
    • No visible evidence of oil spill at present.
    • Hope that all fires will be out within the next 24 hours.
    • Too early to tell the full extent of the damage.


    The Navy's position that the ship, which has been visibly listing, is stable and structurally sound is a significant and positive development. There had been concerns that areas that had been exposed to persistent temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit could be compromised.

    Still, the pictures that have already emerged online show significant internal damage, as well as to the flight deck and superstructure. It will take the Navy a not-insignificant amount of time to just conduct a full damage assessment.

    The War Zone Blog



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  11. #41
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    The pictures taken from above the island show large holes in the structure. It looks like it's aluminum which isn't uncommon for spaces above the main deck. Aluminum doesn't resist fire damage nearly as well as steel (ala the Belknap/Kennedy collision).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Well I am an Acquisition professional. I would love to know what the contract statement of work says about the requirements. Because if the government doesn't write it effectively in the SOW you can't fault the contractor.

    Is this the result of diminishing industrial base...i.e., you can only get 3 companies to bid on work...one is Northrop Grumman/Lockheed Martin and the other two are Earl's Bait, Aerospace & Shipbuilding. Meaning you either pay for massive amounts of overhead for the amout of work actually performed or you have to accept massive risk to get the work done. See that way too much in my professional life.
    Spot on... The diminished industrial base strikes beyond naval matters, the article below is an example of the struggle the Air Force faces, but all branches are looking at the same landscape. When we read of and marvel at the "Arsenal of Democracy" it seems it grew from some large players who became larger, but also many smaller players who also managed to grow into giants of production in all manner of goods. I wonder if that would still hold true? Singer sewing machine made 1.75 million 1911A1 pistols for the war effort. (I don't know where Singer falls into the small to large producer and may be a poor example.) Who is the Singer for the microchips?


    Link
    https://www.defenseone.com/business/...ref=d-topstory


    Lead paragraph: US May Need to Nationalize Military Aircraft Industry, USAF Says. That’s unless the Air Force can find a way to keep both competition and the few remaining U.S. plane-makers alive, the service’s acquisition chief said. The United States might need to nationalize parts of the military aviation sector if the Pentagon does not come up with new ways to buy planes that stimulate more competition in private industry, a top Air Force official warned.

  14. #44
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    When I was working on my Acquisition Logistician Level 3 certification through the Defense Acquisition UNiversity I took a class on the subject of diminishing manufacturing sources.

    If interested here is a 60 page document on the topic: https://www.dla.mil/Portals/104/Docu...NAL_151030.PDF

    After the abject failure of the Army and industry to provide for US Forces in WW 1, the Army developed the Army Industrial College. It's purpose was to annually bring Army officers and industry leaders together for a year and determine what industry could produce in case of mobilization. Every year the class produced a mobilization plan...each class updated the previous work.

    That is how the Army knew Singer could produce 1.5 million .45 calibers. Smith & Corona made M1919 .30 cal machine guns. Boatyards in the Great Lakes and along the MIssissippi watershed made seagoing vessels. All were in the book.

    That is long gone, I'm afraid.
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    I don't think I like the idea of 'nationalization'. The Federal Trade Commission exists to prevent monopolization of markets and unfair practice. I'm not sure their mission statement has any specific jurisdiction over defense contractors however. If not, then I'm sure there's another government agency just for that. In another sense though, I think that preventing corporate mergers is in it's own way nationalization of a sort. Also, as long as there are 2 companies vying for the same business, it's really not a monopoly to begin with. I think it's a very complex problem with no easy answers. Certainly our folks in congress won't deal with it.

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