There have been many stories and reports that a war might break out in the Persian Gulf between Iran and the Israelis and/or the USA. Some believe it is only a matter of time until such a war breaks out. Even if the war is between the Israelis and Iranians, the Iranians are expected to attack US naval ships in the Persian Gulf anyway. So the US Navy is aware of the dangers and is functioning at a high state of readiness, right? Unfortunately the answer last year was decidedly “No!” Let’s hope things have improved.

One story below is dated April 10, 2010, and it discusses the collision near the Straits of Hormuz between the USS Hartford, a US Navy nuclear submarine, and the USS New Orleans, a supply ship. The other link states this incident occurred about a year ago. Apparently, more information about how the accident occurred has now come to light. The collision occurred when the “sonar operators and radio men were missing from their posts and the navigator was listening to his iPod in his cabin.” The report indicates there was dereliction of duty and lax shipboard discipline at the time of the collision…which cost US taxpayers almost $60 million. The captain of the offending ship was relieved of his duties.

This incident with lax discipline and readiness aboard a very important US Navy ship occurred in the precise area where hundreds of Iranian cruise missiles are likely to be fired at US Navy ships if a war breaks out. An example of such unpreparedness aboard a US Navy ship does not inspire confidence that the US Navy ships are ready to repel and survive an all-out attack upon them by Chinese-designed cruise missiles fired from Iranian land-based launchers and swarms of small ships.

Let’s hope that the US Navy has dramatically improved discipline and readiness aboard its ships everywhere they are deployed, but especially in the Persian Gulf, where it is possible that Iran could decide to launch a first strike against US ships without warning. If naval discipline and readiness have not improved, a lot of US sailors could die when/if a war breaks out suddenly in the Persian Gulf. All of America’s enemies are, no doubt, aware of this report of neglect of duty and incompetence aboard a US navy ship. Such a report can only embolden the enemies of the USA into thinking that the US Navy is not ready to fight and defend itself.