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    Re: history Missouri
    From: Jeremy C
    Date: 2012 Aug 14, 07:44 -0700

    Wow, I am amazed by the statement that no "one" person knows the location of the ship. I am not in the navy, but if the conning officer doesn't know where the ship is (or at least where it was a few moments before), and where it is going, there is a serious problem.

    Navy bridge teams are huge and the amount of data flowing about position and traffic can be daunting, but this one thing is for sure; one person, and only one person, has the final say as to the rudder and engine commands to maneuver the ship properly. This person must know where the ship is, which way it is travelling, where the hazards are, as well as knowing the location and relative motion of other vessels in the vicinity.

    This past Friday I was bringing a 150 meter long ship to anchor in the Singapore Straits. I used the ECDIS (GPS based,) 3 CM radar, and seaman's eye (Mk I eyeball) to determine position. I used GPS vectors on my radar and ECDIS to determine the CMG/SMG. I used my eye and the radar to determine danger contacts and determine where I would anchor the ship. From this data I determined the speed I needed as well as the helm orders to get the ship into position to safely anchor.

    I believe that there is too much information on a Navy bridge, and if there is any discrepancy in various methods of fixes, it creates at the very least a distraction because you need to figure out what fix is most correct. This seemed to be the issue when that Cruiser ran aground outside Pearl Harbor.

    Even if I had the people and equipment to do all of these other methods, I would tend to believe GPS first, followed by radar. They are nearly instantaneously updated and prone to minimal and known errors. Visual fixing is slow in comparison and prone to error based on various factors that cannot be easily quantified.


    My bridge team consisted of myself, the Chief Mate, and helmsman. I depend on my team to give me data and follow my helm and engine orders, but all information comes to me and I alone make the decisions based on the information I am given and gather myself from my senses, the ship, and it's instruments.

    Byron is from the "old school" where such things as GPS and ECDIS did not exist. His methods were the best available at the time, and his personal innovations are legendary, even today. Reading such accounts is a good way to be a conning officer, but the methods of modern navigation have evolved quite a bit since the Intrepid went aground in RI, and the bridge team paradigm must also change.

    Jeremy
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