SURFLANT Endorses Investigation Into McFaul-Churchill Collision
Story Number: NNS051007-06
Release Date: 10/7/2005 12:38:00 PM
From Naval Surface Force U.S., Atlantic Fleet Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CNSL), Rear Adm. Michael Nowakowski endorsed Rear Adm. Raymond Spicer's, commander, Carrier Strike Group 12, report of the investigation into the collision between USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) and USS McFaul (DDG 74) Oct. 3.
Churchill and McFaul (DDG 74) collided Aug. 22 while conducting training operations off the coast of Florida. Damage to Winston S. Churchill included a 5x10 foot hole on the port side helo hangar, a damaged antenna, and a hydraulic leak in the helo hangar. McFaul sustained light damage to its starboard side bow. There were no personnel casualties or flooding on either ship.
The collision occurred while the ships were preparing for deployment and conducting a training event that required aggressive ship-handling and high speed, close quarters tactical maneuvering.
As in all situations of this nature, the investigation revealed that there were actions that could have avoided the collision. While the commanding officer is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of the vessel, the chain of command has not lost confidence in either commanding officer’s ability to effectively and positively command their ships. Administrative actions will be taken against each officer for actions that led to the collision.
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