BK Lim 18 Oct 2011
Answers to the “Medivac Delay question” raise even more questions; posing serious doubts whether the grounding of the USS San Francisco could even occurred at Micronesia on 8 Jan 2005. Some details of the official-released eye-witnesses' accounts and time-line of events seem to better fit a submarine accident at the time of the 11am (Guam Time) mega quake, offshore Sumatra on 26 Dec 2004, than the accident at Micronesia.
First we examine the case for the purported accident at Micronesia. The official reasons given for the delayed medivac/rescue operation were
the crash location was too far (360 n_miles) and outside the 60S Knighthawk (return trip) 225 n mile range. The navy had to wait until the beleaguered submarine was within range to mount the heli medivac rescue.
the bad sea state on 8 Jan 2005. The heli medivac/rescue operation had to be called off.
Figure 164-6 shows an official release picture of the helicopter MH-60S Knighthawk, transferring medical personnel to the USS San Francisco on the morning of 9 Jan 2005. The location of the chopper transfer was not stated. We can only assume it was within the chopper 2-way range of 225 nautical miles from Guam.
As with all fakes, scratch the surface and you see the evidence. The officially-released eye-witnesses' accounts, the purported liberty port call to Brisbane, the high speed collision and now the medivac delay, all did not stand up to scrutiny.
The delayed medivac (actually there was none on official record) or heli-transfer of medical personnel on 9 Jan 2005 appeared to be just a photo-op for public consumption. There was evidently no multiple attempts at evacuating the seriously injured (medivac) for such a major accident that purportedly occurred less than 24 hours ago on 9 Jan. Would Ashley's shipmates cursed and cried in frustration if they had been surrounded by rescue vessels ready to render any assistance and help? No. So this account of frustration was written when the USS San Francisco was still alone in the open ocean.
The tight quarters made it difficult to get Ashley off the boat to a helicopter that could take him to a hospital in Guam. Crewmen spent the night removing railings and lockers to clear a path to the only hatch considered safe to open. The next morning, they threaded Ashley's stretcher through small compartments and up narrow ladders, but the bridge hatch wouldn't open far enough to let it out. Some of his shipmates cursed and cried in frustration. Cooter died without regaining consciousness, 25½ hours after the accident.
To recap, (we said in part 3) an immediate medivac / rescue operation to render urgent medical attention to 23 seriously injured men would have been top priority in any major accident whether in Micronesia or offshore Sumatra. The fact that the navy did not rush military, medical and engineering assistance to the grounded multi-billion nuclear submarine just 360 n_miles away from its Guam base is one big puzzling mystery.
The navy owes it to the American public and all countries badly affected by the 2004 tsunami the truth.
Micronesia is one of US protectorate island nation in the Pacific. So any excuse of obtaining official permission to enter Micronesia's airspace or territorial waters was just humbugs. Were permission ever sought when the USS San Francisco was running covert underwater operations in Asia or just before the “crash” on 8 January 2005?
The 2004 tsunami caught the world by surprise but not the US Navy. Apparently, they had the foresight to prepare a heavily armed and engineering armada for such a “humanitarian mission” 12 months before the most devastating tsunami in human history.
Did the Bush-Cheney administration suddenly turned soft on the War-On-Terror, giving preferential treatment to the poor muslim victims in Aceh (accused by Bush to be extremist terrorists) over the US servicemen in Micronesia? The epicentre of the quake was more than 2,800 n_miles from Guam while the purported crash location in Micronesia a mere 360 n_miles.
Even military experts were perplexed. It was a mystery then and still a mystery now, more than 7 years later. The only plausible explanation; the Bush-Cheney administration lied to distance USS San Francisco's covert operation and involvement in the 2004 quake-tsunami. It would explain why Strike Force 5 armada was ready to sail on the instant. Elementary, my dear Watson!
Needless to say the Australians were merely the advance party, soon to be joined by a curiously well prepared and equipped U.S. Military...........why they had been spending a whole year training for a "Humanitarian Mission", when the whole point of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps is normally to kill people in very large numbers.
As if by magic, the Pentagon managed to have two battle groups ready to sail at an instant's notice from Hong Kong and Guam during the normally chaotic Christmas to New Year period. The next bit was superbly orchestrated, because it took place at sea, far away from the prying eyes of dock spies or imaginary KGB agents. But oops, first you have to know who was involved.
Out of Hong Kong rushed team one, comprised of the nuclear-powered USS Abraham Lincoln and her escort vessels, while the far more interesting team two rushed out of Guam, led by the USS Bonhomme Richard, a marine amphibious assault carrier crammed to the gunwales with gun-toting wooden tops. And that is not all, believe me, because the Bonhomme Richard is in fact leading a veritable armada known as "Expeditionary Strike Group 5". Flagship USS Bonhomme Richard is accompanied by the U.S.S. Duluth, an amphibious transport dock vessel; the USS Rushmore, a landing ship dock; the guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill, guided missile destroyer USS Milius, and the guided missile frigate USS Thach.
To take care of the underwater side of things they are joined by the nuclear hunter-killer submarine USS Pasadena, while the U.S. Coast Guard's high-endurance cutter Munro is also tagging along, presumably to deal with Asian Customs and Excise.
Now then, though 'Strike Group 5' may be toting enough nuclear weapons to destroy half of the known world, and the title is perhaps lacking when viewed from a strictly humanitarian perspective, engineer chief Staff Sgt. Julio C. Dominguez says otherwise: "The Marine Service Support Group has been preparing for a humanitarian mission of this type for about 12 months now, and is more prepared for an actual mission". Well, OK chief, but didn't you ask why you were being trained for a mysterious humanitarian mission a year before it actually happened, especially when your day job is normally shooting Muslims full of holes?
The really sneaky (inexplicable) bit came as both battle groups entered the Indian Ocean. The USS Abraham Lincoln looked about as innocent as a carrier with 70 attack planes can look, but was already carrying 2,000 marines instead of her normal complement of around 500. That is a huge amount of grunt firepower to put on the deserted streets of Banda Aceh, especially when Wall Street normally expects these marines to die quietly for Zion in Iraq. Now then, how did they know the extra marines would be needed before team one left Hong Kong, because the surplus 1,500 marines were certainly not just standing around on Kowloon dock waiting to hitch a ride.
Then while the two battle groups (apparently) headed in two different directions across the deserted Indian Ocean, an even stranger event took place. Though Expeditionary Strike Group 5 (Humanitarian) was supposed to help the folks in Sri Lanka, the combat marines aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard transferred to amphibious transport dock vessel U.S.S. Duluth, which then split from ESG-5 and headed towards team one. So without the Indonesians really being aware of it, the (relatively) harmless and Bulky aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln has been used to screen the arrival of at least 3,500 heavily-armed US Marines in tiny Aceh Province.
Now if you had read part 3 and understood the navy's priorities, you would come to the same conclusion as we had. The Navy had no intention whatsoever of sending the medical / rescue helicopter to the purported crash location at Micronesia immediately after receiving news of the accident on 8 Jan 2005. The accident was a fake to cover the real accident somewhere else.
MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter round-trip range limited to 225 n_miles.
The round-trip limitation of 225 n_miles applies to open sea rescue operations with no landing facilities nearby. In offshore medivac / rescue operations, the helicopter would make use of nearby platforms or drilling vessels to make intermediate landing & refueling. Thus the one-way range of 450n_miles should be sufficient to reach the crash location and the nearby islands for refueling on the return journey. Even the option of launching the helicopter from a vessel is better than waiting 22 hours for the beleaguered submarine to leave the sheltered crash location and making a risky trip in the open ocean just to come within chopper range. The sea state in an open ocean can never be better than inter-island sea.
In short there were several options including mid-air refueling, to make this limited round-trip range of 225 n_miles totally irrelevant. The helicopter transfer on 9 Jan was made between 200-230 n_miles from Guam, to underscore that point.
If we apply the same helicopter rescue/medivac operation to an accident near the epicentre of the 2004 quake offshore Sumatra, again it makes sense. At 30 knots and some 25 hours later, the USS Abraham Lincoln leaving from Hong Kong would have been in range to send choppers to the crash location near Aceh. Refuelling mid-air, the choppers would have been able to reach the beleaguered submarine about 30 hours after the accident. These are just some conservative ball estimates. The US Navy rapid response system could certainly do better than that.
It thus makes donkey sense for the Guam Naval Base Command to instruct the badly damaged USS San Francisco with more than 70 injured crew and heavily under-manned sub (1 in 5 unmanned) to make it home on its own. If they could instantly deploy an armada of carriers and its armed escorts to “assist Aceh victims” as we had seen 2 weeks earlier why not Micronesia?
So what happened to the “we have been training for this rescue mission for the last 12 months” bull$hit? Either the US Navy value the “humanitarian rescue of the tsunami victims” over the :USS San Francisco & her crew”, or the accident at Micronesia was a fake meant to cover-up the real accident offshore Aceh.
Chopper medivac delayed by bad weather.
On the surface this again looks like a credible excuse. But dig deeper, you will see that this was irrelevant at the time of the decision.
First there was no mention of adverse weather at the time of the accidental grounding or in the 12hours after. The first mention of deteriorating weather was on Sunday, 9 Jan 2005. This is to be expected. Inter-island water is always calmer than open ocean. If given a choice for rendezvous and medivac operations, one would always chose the former. Did the Guam Naval commander not know this? Of course he did. If the USS San Francisco was really grounded at Micronesia, any sane Naval Commander would have ordered the damaged submarine to stay put while an armada of vessels would be dispatched immediately to the crash location. Just as they did with the “instant humanitarian mission” which mobilised simultaneously out of Hong Kong and Guam. One is a fake and one is real. There is no prize for guessing which one was the real accident.
Checking the different witnesses accounts, the original accounts of the accident offshore Sumatra on 26 Dec 2004 appeared to have been edited to fit the fake accident in Micronesia on 8 Jan 2005. Another coincidence and conspiracy? Think again.
Then, poor weather on Sunday forced the captain to bring all his crewmen down from the bridge out of fear that any additional water coming down the hatch would cut further into the sub's limited buoyancy.
“During the memorial and viewing on Saturday, CSS-15 provided a video from the coast guard of us on the surface and the SEAL/Dr. medical team being helo'd in, the family had this video played on 2 screens in thebackground. It was a sobering reminder of what a hard woman the ocean can be. We had to call off the helo because of the sea state, it was becoming too dangerous for the aircraft, we almost hit it with the sail a couple of times.
The sea would not allow us to medivac in our condition and that sea state.”
There was no mention of chopper rescue/medivac operations at all in the witnesses' accounts especially the skipper's; immediately after the fake accident on 8 Jan. It would have been discussed (as in all accidents) together with the weather conditions. If the weather did not permit, it would have been an important note in the witnesses' accounts. These are some of the most important questions in any emergency besides location (Lat & Long), casualties, extend of damage and emergency medical, essential equipment and parts supplies to be flown in as soon as possible. It is possible that this long list might not be made public, but if adverse weather had been a real factor, the witnesses' accounts couldn't have missed it.
On the other hand DOOW's account clearly stated that the sea state at that time was too rough for the chopper transfer. Now you have to wonder whether he was referring to the chopper transfer operation on 9 January or the attempt heli rescue some 30 hours after the 11am (Guam time) 26 Dec 2004 quake. Read the caption accompanying the photo of the heli transfer in fig 164-6 carefully. The heli-transfer was never aborted. There was no mention of “calling off the helo” because of bad sea state.
The weather on the morning of 9 Jan was certainly not calm flat but it was not real choppy either. The fact that the heli transfer was not aborted on 9 Jan confirms that the sea state was not bad enough for the operation to be aborted. So did DOOW lie?
Probably not, but the spin writer who was not on the vessel. Otherwise he could not have made that kind of slip. He took a true account of what had happened on the 27 or 28 of Dec 2004 and transplanted it to the 9 Jan 2005 heli transfer. Do you see the slip?
It was a sobering reminder of what a hard woman the ocean can be. We had to call off the helo because of the sea state, it was becoming too dangerous for the aircraft, we almost hit it with the sail a couple of times.
The sea would not allow us to medivac in our condition and that sea state.”
The above account describes more of a despair than joy. Despair at seeing the helicopters flying away as the sun sets and the uncertainty of waiting for the next chopper rescue. It is a typical disappointment many would have felt at the first sight of help that had to be aborted due to dangerous sea conditions; darkness and bad sea state. Imagine 30 hours of harrowing survival experience at sea; thousand of miles away from home. On 27 Dec 2004, the men were homesick, badly injured and desperate, not knowing whether they would be able to see their loved ones again.
On 9 Jan, the beleaguered submarine was already escorted by at least 2 surface vessels when the chopper arrived. It was also a time of rejoice being a mere 200 odd n_miles from home. See the difference? If you had spent months at sea in a confined space, you understand the joy and relief on the last leg of the return journey. That magical feeling that everything is going to be alright.
That despair feelings would better fit a damaged submarine stranded in an open ocean offshore Indonesia in Dec 2004. The DOOW was probably describing an even worse sea state on 27 Dec 2004, not the sea state on the morning of 9 Jan 2005. It was certainly not bad enough to cancel the heli transfer. If there was no medivac on 9 Jan, it was because there was no necessity. The boat would be in port the next day.
But in the hours after the first chopper was sighted on 27 Dec evening, the medivac had to be postponed till the next morning after darkness set in. The injured crew had to spend another night in poor weather and in fear. See the perfect fit in the original description to the real emergency situation in a real accident that happened on 26 Dec 2004.
Then, poor weather on Sunday forced the captain to bring all his crewmen down from the bridge out of fear that any additional water coming down the hatch would cut further into the sub's limited buoyancy.
Note the "deteriorating weather" on the night of 9 Jan. Deteriorating means getting worse. That means on the 8 Jan the weather was better and not even considered in the decision not to send the medivac chopper. This weather issue was only an after thought to justify the medivac delay by almost 1 day.
If the medivac was called off or aborted on 8 Jan due to bad weather that means the heli had arrived and returned to Guam. Eye witness accounts could not have missed out such an important event in a tragedy.
Further if the weather at the crash location (sheltered by islands around it) was already bad then the sea state would have been worse in the open Pacific. Any seaman would know that. So why increase the risk and made things worse? A skipper with 19 years of exemplary service could not be this bad even if he tried.
Given the deteriorating factor and the calmer inter island seas, the weather was definitely not an issue. So assuming even the weather was bad (just for argument sake), it would not hurt to fly the choppers to the nearby islands to wait for suitable weather. Unless a major storm was brewing (and that was not the case as shown by the photo), the weather (sea states) picks up and go down in hours. Sending a medical team to wait for a few hours definitely beat chopper transfer in the open sea and the 52 hours journey. If indeed the weather was deteriorating, there was even more reason to stay within the inter-island sea.
Conflicting Accounts on the time of Allen Ashley's passing.
I knew that Ash was severly injured and brought to the messdecks, he was one of my best men, and one of our best sailors onboard, he was like a son to me. After surfacing I was the control room supervisor, I had a boat to keep on the surface and fight and knew that if I went below to see how he was doing, it would teeter me on the brink of something that the ship did not need, the ship needed somebody who knew her.
The damage to our sailors was almost all from them impacting into the equipment. The crew is a testament to training and watch team backup. When a casualty occurs, you fight like you train, and train like you fight. It kept us alive during that 2+day period.
050109-N-0000X-001 Pacific Ocean (Jan. 9, 2005) – An MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter, assigned to the “Providers” of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Five (HC-5), transfers medical personnel to USS San Francisco (SSN 711) located south of Guam, following an underwater collision, Jan. 8. Medical personnel were rushed to the Los Angeles attack submarine once it was within range to assist the ship’s independent duty Corpsman in providing urgent treatment to injured crew members. Regrettably, Machinist Mate 2nd Class Allen Ashley died soon after the medical team’s arrival from massive head injuries. U.S. Navy photo (RELEASED)
HONOLULU, Jan. 9 — A sailor injured aboard a nuclear submarine that ran aground about 350 miles south of Guam died Sunday, the Navy said. Twenty-three other crew members were being treated for injuries.The USS San Francisco was headed back to its home port in Guam after sustaining severe damage on Saturday.
The incident was under investigation, said Jon Yoshishige, a spokesman for the Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor. The name of the sailor who died was being withheld pending a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, the Navy said. The sailor's next of kin had been notified. Lt. j.g. Adam Clampitt of the Pacific Fleet offered condolences early Sunday, saying ''anytime we lose a shipmate, it's a loss to the Navy.''
Ashley, who was a machinist mate, suffered "significant trauma to the head" while he was working in one of the ship's engineering spaces, said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Davis, spokesman for the U.S. Navy Pacific Submarine Force. He was initially in critical condition, but died Sunday afternoon. Ashley's family members have been notified of his death, but they are off island, Davis said.
At 11:42 a.m. the following day, some of the sailors had begun to line up outside the mess deck for a lunch of hamburgers, french fries and baked beans. The duty watch had just changed, and Hutson was in the machinery room going over paperwork with a shipmate. Then the boat hit a bump. “We had the first little shudder, and then a second one,” Hutson said. “The second hit, I said, 'We're in trouble.' ” The San Francisco, cruising at 38 mph, ground to a halt, throwing Hutson several feet and slamming him against some machinery. Two officers fell in front of him.
All the while, Cooter fought like the brave Sailor he was. Defying the odds, he lived far longer than expected for someone with his injuries. He peacefully left us the under the care of a Navy Doctor who had arrived aboard from a daring helicopter transfer just a few hours earlier.
By official account, Allen Ashley died on Sunday afternoon 9 Jan 2005 after the “Emergency medical personnel, including a Naval Hospital Guam surgeon, Undersea Medical Officer and Independent Duty Corpsmen, arrived on the ship on the morning of 9 Jan via helicopter transfer to provide immediate medical care and prepare the crew member for medical evacuation on the morning of 9 January. Unfortunately, the sailor's condition deteriorated and he died onboard while under the care of the embarked physicians. Just moments prior to the sailors death, I spoke with the Sailor's father in preparation for their pending travel from Ohio to the West Pacific to see their Son. Since then I have passed on to his Dad my condolences on their son's death and reassured them their son's remains would be treated with utmost respect and dignity.”
Another account stated that Lt.J.G. Adam Clampitt offered condolences early Sunday even before Ashley had actually passed away in the afternoon; the official time 13:13 hrs 9 Jan 2005.
The sailor's next of kin had been notified. Lt. j.g. Adam Clampitt of the Pacific Fleet offered condolences early Sunday
Akin said “hours later, a helicopter would bring a surgeon from Guam to try to treat Ashley, but it was to no avail. Ashley died the next day.” If the heli transfer was on 9 Jan, that means Ashley died on 10 Jan when the USS San Francisco was already in port. Makes one wonder why all the conflicting versions.
Once Akin saw the extent of Ashley's wounds, he evacuated the other injured sailors into another improvised infirmary and kept Ashley, who was still alive but critically injured, in the mess hall. Hours later, a helicopter would bring a surgeon from Guam to try to treat Ashley, but it was to no avail. Ashley died the next day.
Was Akin referring to an earlier chopper rescue on 27 Dec 2004? The chopper medivac might have been too dangerous and had to be aborted. But it was still possible to transfer medical expertise onboard. That could explain why 23 of the critically injured crew except 3 did not need hospitalisation. Could they have recovered so fast from such a serious accident in 2 days?
If they were injured on 26 Dec 2004 and had been treated by the best field medical experts then it makes sense for the critically injured to recover in 2 weeks. There is no necessity to invoke “amazing recovery in 2 days” miracles. They were injured on a sinister covert operation that killed 230,000 innocent victims. Surely God would not approve let alone bless them with a miraculous recovery. Yes even if they were just following orders as all good soldiers do. Perhaps that is why God spared them so that 7 years later they could confess they have been ordered to lie by those higher in ranks.
Almost two dozen others were injured so badly they could not perform their duties, though within days most were treated and released from the hospital in Guam. Most of the crew were treated for some injury.
Dozens of crew members began coming in with injuries – broken bones, smashed faces, dislocated bones, head trauma, bruises, cuts, lacerations; in all, 70 sailors had sustained wounds.
Machinist Mate 3rd Class Joseph Ashley was killed when he struck his head on a large pump. Almost two dozen others were injured so badly they could not perform their duties, though within days most were treated and released from a hospital in Guam. Most of the crew were treated for some injury.
Another 97 of 137 crewmembers reported injuries ranging from minor bruising and muscle strains to two who suffered dislocated shoulders. Sixty-eight of them were evaluated and treated onboard, while the remaining 29 were treated at Naval Hospital Guam when San Francisco returned to port under its own power Jan. 10. Just three of them were admitted overnight for further evaluation and treatment.
Ashley's parents were notified the death of their son 20 hours earlier.
Navy man Joseph Ashley remembered for `Dixie' tune, big smile Sub accident leaves a void
By Marilyn Miller, Beacon Journal staff writer
The 24-year-old Navy man died Sunday after a submarine accident. The family was told Friday their son hit his head on a pump when the nuclear submarine he was stationed on ran aground about 350 miles from its home port in Guam.
The Navy was preparing to fly Vicki and Dan Ashley to their son's bedside. They knew the injury was serious, but their son was holding on. On television Friday night, the parents watched and sympathized with the families of six soldiers who were killed in a car bombing in Iraq.
``I said those families would love to be in our position, because at least our son is alive,'' Dan Ashley said. They went to bed unsettled, but relieved. Vicki Ashley tossed and turned so much that night she moved to the couch in the living room to try to rest. ``I couldn't sleep, but when I saw a flash of lights from a car pulling into the driveway about 2 a.m., I knew my Joey was gone,'' she said.
``I looked out the window and saw two men dressed in uniform. I ran to tell my husband.'' The men confirmed her fears. ``I nodded to them to go ahead. I already knew what they had to say,'' said Dan Ashley, a former Navy man himself. They stood at attention and announced Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Ashley's death.
It was then the parents learned their son died while medics prepared him for transport to a military hospital. He had never regained consciousness from the accident. The Navy has launched an investigation into the accident, in which 19 other sailors were injured.
The time difference between Ohio (EST) and Guam is 1500hrs. The accident supposedly happened at 1143 hrs 8 Jan 2005 (Guam Time). That would be 2043hrs on Friday 7 Jan (EST). Ashley's parents were officially informed of Ashley's death on Sat 8 Jan 0200hrs EST which was 1700hrs Sat 8 Jan 2005 (Guam Time) or just 5 hours after the purported accident.
The official reported time of death was 1313 hrs Sun 9 Jan (Guam Time) or 2213 hrs Sat 8 Jan 2005 EST; which is 20 hours later. Could the Navy have notified the parents 20 hours earlier when Ashley was still alive?
Is that why “The sailor's next of kin had been notified” when Lt. J.G. Adam Clampitt of the Pacific Fleet offered his condolences early Sunday?
At 0904 the Seal Dr, The Seal HM2, and medical equipment were trnasfered to the San Fran. Efforts were made to transfer MM2 Ashley, but were unsuccessful. Ashley was pronounced dead at 1311.
But why would the navy lie even on Ashley's time of death? Ashley probably died 25 ½ hours after the accident on 26 Dec 2004. The Navy could not inform the parents the truth as it would expose the whole scam. They had to adjust the time his death with the new fake accident on 8 Jan. So when the doctors from Guam Naval hospital arrived on the morning of 9 Jan 2005, they found a dead cold body of Ashley. Of course they were told to hush up just like anybody who was involved in the rescue mission.
Naturally the USS San Francisco port departure on 7 Jan 2005 from Guam and the 3 Jan 20005 phone call Ashley was supposed to make from Guam never happened. It would have been easy for the Navy to produce confidential logs and records to show these two important events. But they did not think it was necessary since the world had already accepted the “accident at Micronesia” story. It would also be absurd to show the confidential records to substantiate these 2 events out of the blues. Any records they show now are likely to be fake than authentic.
A real accident on 26 Dec offshore Sumatra and a fake coverup accident at Micronesoa would make sense
Story by Zita Taitano January 9, 2005
The running aground of the U.S.S. San Francisco about 350 miles to the south of Guam on Saturday afternoon resulted in 20 injured sailors. The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine was conducting submerged operations when the incident occurred. U.S. Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Arwen Consaul confirms the sailors were injured, one of which critically so, and that they are being treated by medical personnel onboard the submarine.
It also appears more help is on the way thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard. Spokesperson Petty Officer Jennifer Johnson of the Coast Guard District 14 Public Affairs Office in Hawaii says the USCG Cutter Galveston Island is on its way to the submarine with a team of medical personnel to help treat the injured sailors. "The Coast Guard's priority is safety at sea and its ability to respond is our priority and we're happy that we could help when our assistance was needed," said Johnson.
The US Navy's acclaimed rapid-advanced rescue respond is unrivaled anywhere in the world. No cost is too high when it involves the lives of American servicemen. Perhaps the answers lie in the awards and punishments meted out to the crew. Isn't it a bit of an irony to praise and yet punished them. Given a choice the Navy would have awarded them all medals; for not only surviving an ordeal arising from a secret deep sea mission, but in performing it exceptionally well. The accident was unavoidable being so close to the epicentre of one of the largest earthquakes in human history.
But their heroic efforts especially Commander Moore, cannot be publicly acknowledged. Yet he must be punished publicly for a surprisingly “stupid” mistake which no competent crew could have committed under normal circumstances let alone on a non-combat leisure cruise. They had to be sacrificed and punished publicly after an initial hesitation. Not to do so would arouse public suspicion of a fake accident.
You have to believe “Pigs can fly” before believing this fake high speed collision. The official report stated that 24-year-old Ashley's death and the injury of the other crew members were in the line of duty and not due to misconduct. "Earlier evacuation or arrival of medical officers would not have changed the outcome for (Petty Officer) Ashley" the investigation said of the two additional medical personnel flown aboard by helicopter and two attempts to medically evacuate him by helicopter”.
Two attempts to medically evacuate him by helicopter? There was no report of medivac on the day of the accident just 360 n_miles from Guam. There was only one heli-transfer on the morning of 9 Jan. “Some of his shipmates cursed and cried in frustration” described a seemingly hopeless situation against all odds. Sounds a lot more like “the desperate situation of a damaged vessel stranded alone in the middle of the ocean” than a vessel being escorted by several rescue boats and a successful heli-transfer of medical personnel onboard.
The highest awards, the Navy's Meritorious Service Medal, went to Hospitalman 1st Class James H. Akin, the ship's "doc," and Lt. j.g. Craig E. Litty for organizing the crew's mess into an emergency trauma center and providing triage to more than 70 injured sailors over two days. "When initial medical supplies were expended, (they) devised innovative methods to provide continued oxygen and other first aid treatment," the citation reads. The citation also credited their "accurate diagnoses of injuries and exacting recommendations" for treatment.
The 24-year-old Ashley, of Akron Ohio, died from the collision and another 97 of the 137 crewmembers reported injuries ranging from minor bruising and muscle strains to two who suffered dislocated shoulders. According to the report; Ashley's head injury was inevitably critical. His death and the injury of the other crewmembers were in the line of duty and not due to misconduct.
Again the description fit more of the rescue attempts (medivac) using choppers from one of the advancing battleship in the Strike Force 5 armada. The tale of 2 submarine accidents (one fake & one real) still perplexes military experts around the world.
Even though the Chinese navy evidently has extreme respect for the U.S. submarine force, the analyses of the San Francisco incident appear to show awareness that even this elite force can make errors and must invest in cutting-edge rescue technologies.