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Navy Will Include Cyber Hacking as Part of the USS John S. McCain Investigation

Navy Will Include Cyber Hacking as Part of the USS John S. McCain Investigation

“But we’re looking at every possibility, so we’re not leaving anything to chance.”

On Monday, the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore. Ten soldiers remain missing, but reports have emerged that some remains have been found.

But this is the second deadly collision our Navy has had in the Pacific in the last three months. The Navy has started an investigation into what caused the collision, which will include the possibility of cyber hacking.

The Washington Free Beacon reported:

The Navy has not ruled out an intentional action behind the latest deadly collision between a Navy destroyer and a merchant ship, the chief of naval operations told reporters Monday.

“That’s is certainly something we are giving full consideration to but we have no indication that that’s the case—yet,” Adm. John Richardson, the CNO, said at the Pentagon.

“But we’re looking at every possibility, so we’re not leaving anything to chance,” he said.

Asked if that includes the possibility the electronic defenses on the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain were hacked in a cyber attack, Richardson said investigators will look into all possible causes.

“We’ll take a look at all of that, as we did with the Fitzgerald,” the four-star admiral said, referring to another Navy warship collision with a merchant ship in June near Japan.

Richardson also “called for a review of the 7th fleet’s maintenance, personnel and equipment in the region.” The damage from the collision caused flooding into “nearby compartments including crew berths, machinery and communication rooms.”

The collision took place “near the Strait of Malaccaa, a crowded 1.7-mile-wide waterway that connects the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.” At least 25% of the world’s shipping goes through that section. From McClatchy DC:

“When you are going through the Strait of Malacca, you can’t tell me that a Navy destroyer doesn’t have a full navigation team going with full lookouts on every wing and extra people on radar,” said Jeff Stutzman, chief intelligence officer at Wapack Labs, a New Boston, New Hampshire, cyber intelligence service.

“There’s something more than just human error going on because there would have been a lot of humans to be checks and balances,” said Stutzman, a former information warfare specialist in the Navy.


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Maybe they should switch to a real operating system?

    fscarn in reply to jhkrischel. | August 22, 2017 at 11:43 am

    What also might help is for people on the bridge to occasionally look out the windows using low-tech binoculars. Even the pilots of the big jets (747s, A320s, A380s) do visuals.*

    Doesn’t the Navy still have rotating 4-hour watches, or is that so passe given all the super high-tech stuff?

    *During the then-ensuing 911 attacks when the Muslim attackers had turned off all transponders, the FAA asked other nearby planes to see if they could visually see the hijacked planes.

After the second incident I thought something was amiss, FOURTH?
Clearly the answer is YES !!!

And think of using our ships in NK , one can only imagine the carnage if this isn’t fixed.

Maybe not allow any remote access? Seems like excluding any remote access would actually be a design feature desired for military use.

Paul In Sweden | August 22, 2017 at 1:14 pm

I doubt this is a software or other technical problem. This seems to be a breakdown in ship discipline. One collision a month harkens for the reinstatement of keelhualing.

Sounds like some captains need to do some additional reading before they put on the hat.

Any explanation and every explanation will be given to distract everybody from the fact that the Captain and the CO were affirmative action hires.

    Ragspierre in reply to rotten. | August 22, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Commander Alfredo J. Sanchez is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico in May 1997. Commander Sanchez was commissioned in May 1998 from Officer Candidate School, Pensacola, Florida. After attending Primary Flight School, his first sea duty assignment was as Third Division Officer, Deck Department onboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). After attending the Surface Warfare Division Officer’s Course, Commander Sanchez completed his second division officer tour aboard USS BUNKER HILL (CG 52) as the Damage Control Assistant.

    Following his division officer tours, Commander Sanchez was assigned to the Surface Officer Warfare School in Newport, Rhode Island where he served as an Instructor in the Division Officer course. After attending Department Head School in Newport, Rhode Island, Commander Sanchez was assigned as Chief Engineer onboard USS RENTZ (FFG 46) where he deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM PHILIPPINES. His second department head tour was as Chief Engineer onboard USS GETTYSBURG (CG 64) and deployed with the DWIGHT D EISENHOWER Strike Group to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and the Horn of Africa in support of counter-piracy operations.

    Following his department head tours, Commander Sanchez attended the Naval War College, and obtained a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. He later served as the Aide to the Commander Navy Air and Missile Defense Command, Dahlgren, VA. Commander Sanchez most recently completed a tour on the Joint Staff as the Egypt Desk Officer in the Strategy and Policy (J5) Middle East directorate. He reported as Executive Officer onboard USS JOHN S. McCAIN (DDG 56) on April 2015. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (5 awards) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards) as well as various campaign and unit awards.

    So, are you full of bullshit, or what?

      Philip in reply to Ragspierre. | August 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      Rag’s comment above is for the CO. The XO’s is as follows (curiously, both CO and XO are from Puerto Rico and both are named Sanchez):

      CDR Jessie L. Sanchez is a native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He attended Rexville High School until his junior year. In 1988, he moved to the United States and completed his senior year at Oliver Springs High School in Tennessee. He joined the Navy on December 18, 1989.

      Upon completion of Boot Camp, FC “A” School, CIWS and HARPOON “C” School, he reported to USS BELKNAP (CG 26), the 6th Fleet Flagship in Gaeta, Italy. In 1994, he decommissioned USS BELKNAP and reported to USS SPRUANCE (DD 963).

      On August of 1996, he transferred to the Naval Ordnance Station Louisville, Kentucky and served as CIWS Fleet Liaison Officer and Instructor for the In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA).

      On April of 1998, he reported to the Program Executive Office for PHALANX and RAM in Arlington, Virginia where he served as Fleet Introduction Officer. In November of 2000, he volunteered for an IA tour in Saudi Arabia as Air Defense Systems Integrator and Tactical Receive Segment NCOIC for Joint Task Force, South West Asia.

      CDR Sanchez earned his commission via the Limited Duty Officer Program (Surface Ordnance) in 2001. His first assignment was onboard the Forward Deployed AEGIS Cruiser USS COWPENS (CG 63) as Systems Test Officer. During this tour, USS COWPENS fired 39 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was assigned as Air Defense Commander for Four Carrier Strike Groups during the first month of the campaign. His second Division Officer tour was as Electronics Material Officer on USS HALYBURTON (FFG 40) in Mayport, Florida. While assigned to USS HALYBURTON, the ship completed a multi-million dollar dry-dock availability and executed a successful counter-narcotics deployment during which 9.5 tons of cocaine were confiscated. His Department Head tours were on the Forward Deployed AEGIS Destroyer USS McCAMPBELL (DDG 85) as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer. While assigned to USS McCAMPBELL, the ship was the first responder in the assessment and relief efforts during Operation Tomodachi, and performed extensive duties as Air Defense Commander for the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON Carrier Strike Group.

      During his shore tours, CDR Sanchez served as Commanding Officer for Mobile Mine Assembly Unit 10 in Okinawa, Officer-in-Charge of Navy Munitions Command East Asia Division Det. Okinawa, Officer-in-Charge of Center for Surface Combat Systems Det. Mayport, and Commanding Officer for Navy Operational Support Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. He holds an AAS in Electro-mechanical Technology, a BS in Liberal Arts, both from Excelsior College, and a MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

      CDR Sanchez is currently serving as Executive Officer onboard USS JOHN S. McCAIN (DDG 56) forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. His awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (8), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (6), Good Conduct Medal (4), and various unit and campaign awards.

        Dave in reply to Philip. | August 22, 2017 at 8:28 pm

        Cdr Sanchez the XO was commissioned as a Limited Duty Officer, but transferred to Surface Line Officer after his tour as STO on Cowpens. His bio doesn’t say that but his career as an officer is not an LDO track.

      Anchovy in reply to Ragspierre. | August 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Unfortunately there is going to be an additional paragraph added to this CV that will pretty much end his career. In addition to the career ending event, he is going to have to live with the knowledge that 10 sailors he was responsible for died.

      A sad ending all the way around.

    snopercod in reply to rotten. | August 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    More likely the Officer of the Deck was in the head doing her nails.

      Or somebody?

      We were crossing the big pond in 1992, probably 4 days out of the States, and I was OOD on the mid-watch. Although there were still no women on combatants at the time we had a female Intel officer reservist riding us across, so the Senior Watch Officer assigned her to JOOW watches on the bridge…right. She was the last one to the bridge and I couldn’t relieve until my watch team was in place. Well doesn’t she show up doused in perfume! I very calmly pulled her aside, told her to return to her stateroom for a shower and a change of clothes and threw her off the bridge, and took over as OOD with a notation made in the deck log that the JOOW would be delayed.

    Ragspierre in reply to rotten. | August 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    So, your completely unsupported unsupported bullshit allegation is that a Puerto Rican naval officer is pro forma an “affirmative action” hire, and could not have advanced by merit.

    What a piece of racist trash.

    I’ve known Puerto Ricans in the army, and they were good, tough, bright people who loved this country.

So maybe the guy driving the ship was a former Pakistani IT guy who used to work for the Democrats?

Maybe the Commandant can spare some truck drivers to help the sailors steer the boats.

The XO’s summary of service elides his transition from LDO (Limited Duty Officer) to line officer. Had to have happened, at least in my day. Oversight maybe. As a pretty salty Chief ET I am stupified by these collisions, just stupified. Although from 20 years distance, I confidently say this would not; could not have happened on any of my 5 ships.

    As a former Chief ET and Surface Electronics LDO I can confidently say that none of that sh*t would have happened on any of my 4 ships, either, and especially not when I was OOD underway. WTF dude?

    I am just crushed by the deaths of these sailors. My son is a nuke ET1 on a sub and I would be devastated if I lost him, and furious at the negligence of these watch teams.

“The Navy has not ruled out an intentional action behind the latest deadly collision.”

15% of Singapore’s population is Muslim. Singapore is a major base of operations for, and target of, Jemaah Islamiyah. I have no doubt our politically-correct Navy can manage the mental gymnastics required to take no notice of these facts.

Could this hack have to do with congressional secrets stolen by wasserman sschult’s foreign IT guy? – or given to him by the dnc?

Unless the surface radar of our vessels was somehow spoofed, it boggles the mind that so many failures in the “human factor” arena (Operator Malfunction) seem to keep plaguing the Fleet.

(I understand, per a catchy bumper sticker of a few years ago, the oft-confirmed concept: No longer do you idiot-proof something — along comes a better idiot!)

Manpower/staffing shortage? Super-sloppy, negligent behavior by the on-duty staff?

Let us review. So far this year in the 7th Fleet AOR:

January: USS Antietam (CG-54) ran aground while trying to anchor in Tokyo bay.

May: USS Lake Champlain (CG-57) collided with a ROK fishing vessel while operating in the SOJ.

June: USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) collided with a merchant south of Honshu.

And now, August: USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) collides with a MERSHIP while operating in the Malacca straight.

The understatement of the year is that this isn’t normal. Does this mean two guys named Sanchez are diversity hires? No, of course not. But U.S. military and naval forces do have diversity hires and you don’t need to be the XO or CO to hazard a vessel.

How do I know we have diversity hires that hazard our own forces? Because the Army COS said so after Nidal Hassan killed thirteen soldiers at Fort Hood.

“…Asked on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ whether Muslim soldiers are conflicted in fighting wars in Muslim countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, Casey said: ‘I think that’s something that we have to look at on an individual basis. But I think we as an Army have to be broad enough to bring in people from all walks of life.’

The bottom line is the military benefits from diversity, he said.

‘Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse,’ Casey said.”

This guy is a f***ing idiot and needs to be recalled for court martial and then shot. Nidal Hassan gave a theologically correct power point briefing to his colleagues about how Muslim troops would have no choice but to kill Americans if this country sent them to Muslim countries “without right.”

And when does a Muslim have the right to kill other Muslims? According to their prophet Muhammad as relayd in Sunan abu Daoud, one of the Sahih Sittah (relaible six) or Khuttub al Sittah (the six books) that comprise the canonical texts that form the ahadith collection of Sunni Islam, the Book of Prescribed Punishments, Chapter one, only “blood for blood” (i.e. in retribution for a Muslim murdering another Muslim), adultery (all forms of illegal sexual activity), and for apostasy or in other words leaving Islam. And the US was going to send him to the sandbox because the Muslims there had only killed Americans. Which isn’t even a misdemeanor let alone a reason to kill them back (if you’re a Muslim).

Diversity it not a strength. It’s an article of religious faith that is a stupidity.

General Sheehan (USMC-Ret) testified that that the Dutch COS told him that one of the reasons the Dutch peace keepers collapsed at Srebrenica was because of the political decision to allow gays to serve openly. The libs and the Dutch huffed and puffed (but I repeat myself), but the best they could come up with was that there was nothing in the final report that implicated gays in their failure. Well, guess what? You can read the Army report on the nameless, faceless “work place violence” that killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood and there is nothing in the final report about Nidal Hassan and how Islam motivated him to do the killing.

During WWII we conducted trials that demonstrated that racial integration of our naval and military forces resulted in greater combat effectiveness.

“U.S.S. Sea Cloud, IX-99,
Racial Integration for Naval Efficiency”

The USMC conducted a similar trial with mixed-sex ground combat units and discovered it was a disaster. Among other reasons women can’t handle the combat load, meaning they couldn’t move as fast or as far as all-male units. Which was no surprise to me as back in the 1990s in the post-tailhook era that 90% of female recruits couldn’t handle the damage control equipment. Dewatering/firefighting pumps and generators have to be a certain size to do any good, and the vast majority of women can’t haul them up and down ladders to where they need to be. The vast majority of male recruits can.

So don’t tell me (cough, cough, Rags) that these diversity hires aren’t killing us. Or, rather, the pols and special interests inside the beltway.

It would be easy to prove me wrong. All the jerk-offs would have to do is conduct the same sort of trials the Army and Navy conducted during WWII to demonstrate whether or not these diversity hires improved or were detrimental to combat effectiveness and military and naval efficiency.

But they’ll never allow that because they already know the answer and they don’t care about the body count of U.S. troops that their criminality will result in.