A Series of Non-Retractions
Considering that Col. David Hackworth passed on yesterday, I won't use my usual hyperbole in discussing the new San Francisco article by Lt. Raymond Perry, USN (Ret.). Here's an excerpt:
"There are those who would dismiss the grounding as a pure "act of God" with the San Francisco's commander and crew having zero responsibility to foresee or avoid the seamount. Precise and worldwide cartography is expensive, so the mapmakers can produce and update charts only as they are able.
"The profession of the sea has built in cautions and methods whereby navigators are enjoined to do certain things that ensure safety. When passing near hazards or making landfall on an unknown coast, these procedures will tend to keep the ship safe. Only in the last decade have navigators begun to shrink this margin of safety to just a few miles instead of the ship, rather than the tens of miles once used.
"There are procedures for ships that note errors on charts to send messages to the mapmakers advising them of errors or conflicts so that the cartographers can improve them. Two as-yet unanswered questions from the mishap on Jan. 8 are: How many submarines have transited this part of The Carolines archipelago and noted erroneous soundings? And did any of them file a message with the mapmakers as required?
"In moving three submarines to a new homeport in Guam, did the Pacific Submarine Force Commander ask his Staff Oceanographer to review charts near Guam and update those that needed updating?"
While it looks like he may have finally gotten some real information, I note that he still neglects to retract his previous accusations that RADM Gove was riding the San Francisco when she grounded, and until he does, I won't retract my previous characterization of Perry as an asshat.