Sunday, February 08, 2009


Two days ago, the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG-73) completed four months of maintenance at its home port of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It set out on a shakedown cruise.

It never returned.

Oh, don't worry; it didn't sink. It ran aground on a shoal just offshore - interestingly, the shoal was both manmade and known to the Navy. Which begs the question as to just what the hell a billion-dollar, 9600-tonne warship was doing in 22 feet of water.

The Navy has lightened the ship by taking off some personnel and fuel, and it's hoped that they'll be able to tow it off the reef today, three days after it initially ran aground.

But that won't help the captain of the ship, who will likely lose his job or any hope of further career advancement. The Navy's a tad unforgiving (and rightly so) toward anyone who takes a capital ship and gets it stuck.


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