USS Bonhomme Richard on Fire

In fact, 187 of the ship’s 216 fire stations – 87.5 percent – were in Inoperable Equipment Status condition at the time of the fire, the report said

I did wonder if the work she was undergoing - would have rendered much of the emergency equipment inoperable - power / water supply disconnected - equipment removed or inaccessable (floors up etc).

My other thought that - cables - airlines required by maintenance teams would be strung out accross the ship - through doorways etc - which is unavoidable since power and air to run them is shore based - would have prevented closing hatches - has been determined to have been a factor.

Im not sure how on a large overhaul programme you can avoid any of the above and theres not a huge amount you can do to mitigate it
There is: you can work sequentially, you can rig quick disconnects (or just ensure DC parties have thick rubber gloves and axes), you can provide dockside salt water pumps to keep alive your firefighting ringmain, you can just ensure you have regular patrols and the world's supply of portable extinguishers.

However, what the USN did was to leave a good many sailors living on board, not make any effort to ensure they were trained and not have a meaningful and competent shore side force to cover their lack of training. To partly restate @alfred_the_great's point.
 
There is: you can work sequentially, you can rig quick disconnects (or just ensure DC parties have thick rubber gloves and axes), you can provide dockside salt water pumps to keep alive your firefighting ringmain, you can just ensure you have regular patrols and the world's supply of portable extinguishers.

However, what the USN did was to leave a good many sailors living on board, not make any effort to ensure they were trained and not have a meaningful and competent shore side force to cover their lack of training. To partly restate @alfred_the_great's point.

I will be honest
I wasnt aware at the time I wrote that sailers were still billeted aboard

The compromised integrity - by blocked access - wedged opened doors I consider a necassery evil when you are taling about providinng shore facilities to maint / mod teams which means power lines / airhoses then junction boxes spread everywhere - but I agree some mitigation can be that these break into subsections** allowing quick disconnects so doors can be closed.

With guys still aboard then quite frankly thats an abysmal failing of health and safety standards a complete failure to consider the welfare of the residents

To oversimplify to emphasise the point im trying to make - its the difference between ripping out all the firedoors and chopping the mains in an empty tower block and doing so when the top floors are still occupied.

I would also be trying to add attempted murder to the arsonists charge sheet and looking to see if keel hauling is still on the books ( Nimitz keel if you were wondering and not necasserilly across


**They do - if only to keep size and weight managable -
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Too much time spent on FEELZ training, not enough on War Fighting skills.

Nothing of the sort, in fact the USN is currently suffering from the effects of overworking their crews to the point of disaster, the 7th Fleet being the prime example of this.
 
@Lindermyer - what follows is my personal opinion. However, I would expect to have an idea of whether I could extinguish the fire within fifteen minutes closing up to the Damage Control centre*. If I decided - as Officer of the Day - that I could not extinguish the fire, I would expect my duty watch and anyone else on board to close watertight doors** through any means necessary without pointlessly endangering life: at most I would expect this to take ten minutes while breakers were opened and power cables disconnected, if there was some reason the cable couldn't be disconnected with a fire axe. If I absolutely couldn't do this, I would make safe connections and fill compartments with water.

I would also expect my duty watch to instinctively know this, especially everyone in any position of leadership. They will need to take charge of the rest of Ship's Company in a genuine emergency. I note this is apparently quite different to the American approach

You can cheerfully cause tens of thousands of pounds of damage (provided you don't kill anyone) and justify it to the subsequent Board of Enquiry by not losing tens of millions of pounds of Ship.

*HQ1 in British parlance.
**Watertight doors are common on board and are also designed to be gaslight.
 

RaiderBoat

War Hero
Nothing of the sort, in fact the USN is currently suffering from the effects of overworking their crews to the point of disaster, the 7th Fleet being the prime example of this.
Have you had to sit through the DAYS of FEELZ training? No? It’s prioritized over EVERYTHING else. BTDT. A ship in dry dock has ample bodies and rest time to train up on DC skills, as the WSQB should direct.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Have you had to sit through the DAYS of FEELZ training? No? It’s prioritized over EVERYTHING else. BTDT. A ship in dry dock has ample bodies and rest time to train up on DC skills, as the WSQB should direct.

No, and it doesn't matter that I haven't. There are far more significant issues within the working culture of the USN than diversity training, as reports posted earlier in the thread attest to (particularly Nav, Watch Training, insane watch periods etc etc)

Diversity training is a straw man, and an easy target - a comparable scenario is how Politicians in the UK are going spare over the issue of internet anonymity and the killing of Sir David Amess. While there is an issue of people using anonymous accounts to hide behind whilst they spew vitriol about our elected representatives, it has nothing to do with his death. Rather it's politicians using his death to promote their own agenda.

Getting rid of FEELZ isn't going to solve the problem, and does not address the far deeper issues the USN is facing. It's just an easy scapegoat.
 
No, and it doesn't matter that I haven't. There are far more significant issues within the working culture of the USN than diversity training, as reports posted earlier in the thread attest to (particularly Nav, Watch Training, insane watch periods etc etc)

Diversity training is a straw man, and an easy target - a comparable scenario is how Politicians in the UK are going spare over the issue of internet anonymity and the killing of Sir David Amess. While there is an issue of people using anonymous accounts to hide behind whilst they spew vitriol about our elected representatives, it has nothing to do with his death. Rather it's politicians using his death to promote their own agenda.

Getting rid of FEELZ isn't going to solve the problem, and does not address the far deeper issues the USN is facing. It's just an easy scapegoat.

Prioritising SJW crap over readiness and capability is the problem. It sends entirely the wrong message to everyone, from CO's to junior enlisted.
 
@Lindermyer - what follows is my personal opinion. However, I would expect to have an idea of whether I could extinguish the fire within fifteen minutes closing up to the Damage Control centre*. If I decided - as Officer of the Day - that I could not extinguish the fire, I would expect my duty watch and anyone else on board to close watertight doors** through any means necessary without pointlessly endangering life: at most I would expect this to take ten minutes while breakers were opened and power cables disconnected, if there was some reason the cable couldn't be disconnected with a fire axe. If I absolutely couldn't do this, I would make safe connections and fill compartments with water.

I would also expect my duty watch to instinctively know this, especially everyone in any position of leadership. They will need to take charge of the rest of Ship's Company in a genuine emergency. I note this is apparently quite different to the American approach

You can cheerfully cause tens of thousands of pounds of damage (provided you don't kill anyone) and justify it to the subsequent Board of Enquiry by not losing tens of millions of pounds of Ship.

*HQ1 in British parlance.
**Watertight doors are common on board and are also designed to be gaslight.

Im not disagreeing with you - i feel were in full agreement - just from opposite ends - Im putting forth why heavy maint would for practical reasons require doors open, equipment disconnected, rendered inop etc
- wheras you are putting forth (quite correctly) how you would mitigate it.

Your actions to me are pretty much what I would do as well -

- Im not nautically minded not aufait with ships procedures or emergency lighting etc.

My position viz cables airlines is based on noting the practicallities and constraints in other sectors and applying logic.


As regards this incident I really cannot fathom* why you would still billet people afloat when you have for good reason deliberatly degraded the ability to fight fires. Either you as you suggested work sequentially -so keep systems up and running and minimise the areas affected by the need to run shore power lines (and thus doors held open) and accept the increased time and cost or you Billet the crew ashore.

Edit * spotted on proof reading and no Pun is not intended - but to head off the usual plunge that follows such things- Im probably out my depth sonar but so far from being correct - I perhaps shouldnt have dipped my oar in the water,I will bow to others knowledge and give myself a stern telling off. Now that should put us all on an even keel and we can avoid a pun fest.
 

Yokel

LE
The problem is the USN don’t handover refitting ships to the yard; concurrently they keep 1000+ sailors living onboard.

That is the major lesson to take away from this

Brain works - brain stops working.

Hundreds of sailors moving around, doors unable to be shut, large quantities of diesel onboard, fire fighting appliances disabled - not good. I remember seeing a firefighting video made by FOST in which they pointed out the added vulnerability of ships in refit, with normal routines disrupted and added combustible material onboard.

Continuous and aggressive attack - anyone?
 
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Blogg

LE
I would also be trying to add attempted murder to the arsonists charge sheet and looking to see if keel hauling is still on the books ( Nimitz keel if you were wondering and not necasserilly across

That's an alleged arsonist who has been out of custody for some time, is undertaking shore duties and his case has yet to have the preliminary hearing which will determine if there are sufficient (or indeed any) grounds for it to proceed further.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Edit * spotted on proof reading and no Pun is not intended - but to head off the usual plunge that follows such things- Im probably out my depth sonar but so far from being correct - I perhaps shouldnt have dipped my oar in the water,I will bow to others knowledge and give myself a stern telling off. Now that should put us all on an even keel and we can avoid a pun fest.

07B89120-B48D-45FB-AF1D-49AF6CD16790.jpeg


Yeah, good luck with that... ;)
 
Im not disagreeing with you - i feel were in full agreement - just from opposite ends - Im putting forth why heavy maint would for practical reasons require doors open, equipment disconnected, rendered inop etc
- wheras you are putting forth (quite correctly) how you would mitigate it.

Your actions to me are pretty much what I would do as well -

- Im not nautically minded not aufait with ships procedures or emergency lighting etc.

My position viz cables airlines is based on noting the practicallities and constraints in other sectors and applying logic.


As regards this incident I really cannot fathom* why you would still billet people afloat when you have for good reason deliberatly degraded the ability to fight fires. Either you as you suggested work sequentially -so keep systems up and running and minimise the areas affected by the need to run shore power lines (and thus doors held open) and accept the increased time and cost or you Billet the crew ashore.

Edit * spotted on proof reading and no Pun is not intended - but to head off the usual plunge that follows such things- Im probably out my depth sonar but so far from being correct - I perhaps shouldnt have dipped my oar in the water,I will bow to others knowledge and give myself a stern telling off. Now that should put us all on an even keel and we can avoid a pun fest.

I'm ropeable, best you bunker down.
 

Yokel

LE
Here is the USN report: BHR Command Investigation

From the Executive Summary (page eight)

There were four key focus areas to this final outcome:

Material Condition. Throughout the maintenance period, the material condition of the ship was significantly degraded, to include heat detection capability, communications equipment, shipboard firefighting systems, miscellaneous gear clutter, and combustible material accumulation. To illustrate the extent of degradation, on the morning of the fire, 87% of the ship’s fire stations remained in inactive equipment maintenance status.

Training and Readiness. The training and readiness of Ship’s Force was marked by a pattern of failed drills, minimal crew participation, an absence of basic knowledge on firefighting in an industrial environment, and unfamiliarity on how to integrate supporting civilian firefighters. To illustrate this point, the crew had failed to meet the time standard for applying firefighting agent on the seat of the fire on 14 consecutive occasions leading up to 12 July 2020.

Shore Establishment Support. The integration and support expected by the shore establishment did not adhere to required standards. Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) did not meet their requirements associated with fire safety and, in doing so, failed to communicate risk to leadership while facilitating unmitigated deviations from technical directives. Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) failed to ensure its civilian firefighters were familiar with Navy vessels on the installation, verify they were trained to respond to a shipboard fire, or effectively practice how to support Ship’s Force and simultaneously integrate responding mutual aid assets.

Oversight. Ineffective oversight by the cognizant Commanders across various organizations permitted their subordinates to take unmitigated risk in fire preparedness. A significant source of this problem was an absence of codification of the roles and responsibilities expected by each organization in their oversight execution.
 
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Here is the USN report:

From the Executive Summary (page eight)

Training and Readiness. The training and readiness of Ship’s Force was marked by a pattern of failed drills, minimal crew participation, an absence of basic knowledge on firefighting in an industrial environment, and unfamiliarity on how to integrate supporting civilian firefighters. To illustrate this point, the crew had failed to meet the time standard for applying firefighting agent on the seat of the fire on 14 consecutive occasions leading up to 12 July 2020.

In every ship i served in, whether it was at sea, alongside or in refit, you would get smashed until you got it right. You wouldn't get released/leave until the CO or OOD was happy. Every skipper had the same answer to any whining, do it properly and it will stop.
 

Yokel

LE
In every ship i served in, whether it was at sea, alongside or in refit, you would get smashed until you got it right. You wouldn't get released/leave until the CO or OOD was happy. Every skipper had the same answer to any whining, do it properly and it will stop.

I thought that this would be USN practice too - with institutional memory of the 1967 USS Forrestal fire in which sailors needed to read the instructions for breathing apparatus or and washed the foam blanket. The RN has a fleet standard time in which firefighting teams are expected to respond.

I get the feeling that if this fire had happened at sea, then it would have been dealt with rapidly. There also would have been less combustible material on board, openings would have been controlled, the internal communications would have been fixed, and the fire party would have regularly drilled. The firefighting stations would have been in working order.

And feels like significant wriggle - room for local commanders to be off the hook because nobody had written down what they were expected to do?

It sounds like a familiar story - if no written policy exists, then do nothing.
 

Yokel

LE
Lessons have been identified and acted upon, according to USNI News.

Navy Board Set to Improve Fire Safety After Report Finds Sailors ‘Unprepared to Fight Blazes in Port

The changes come as the Navy has found crews of warships in repair periods across the fleet aren’t properly prepared to handle fires while in port, according to a Navy study into 15 ship fires released in conjunction with the investigation into the July 12, 2020 fire on the former Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6).

The Major Fires Report, conducted by U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. Fleet Forces, studied ship fires in the service following the loss of the nuclear attack submarine USS Miami (SSN-755) in 2012 and the institution of a new set of instructions to train crews on how to handle fire in maintenance, the NAVSEA Technical Publication, Industrial Ship Safety Manual for Fire Prevention and Response, also known as the 8010 manual.

“We saw that our ships meet high firefighting standards at sea, but when they transition to-and-from the maintenance phase, they face different hazards and challenges,” Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Lescher told reporters on Wednesday. “Most of our commanders and crew tackle these successfully but some clearly struggle.”

At sea, the Navy trains to fight fires with the whole crew aboard and all the equipment needed to tackle a blaze while working. However, during maintenance sections are spread out with smaller groups of sailors aboard with degraded equipment and spaces that can be jammed with equipment needed for the maintenance work – circumstances the 8010 manual was created to mitigate.
 
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