Tags: us navy | ships | collision | location

Navy's Anti-collision Program Might Give Away Ships' Locations to Public

Navy's Anti-collision Program Might Give Away Ships' Locations to Public
The USS Ronald Reagan and its supporting fleet arrive at the China Merchants Wharf during the aircraft carrier's fourth visit in Hong Kong, Oct. 2, 2017. (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 04 October 2017 04:27 PM

A new Navy procedure to avoid collisions appears to be allowing people to track the warships online, Stars and Stripes reported.

The Navy order to turn on the Automatic Identification System locators, first reported by National Public Radio, follows a series of collisions that have killed 17 sailors in the Pacific in recent months.

A tweet last Sunday maps the location of a "US GOV VSL" approaching Hong Kong, and reads: "Reason to believe this is USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)," a screenshot of the posting shows.

A Pacific Fleet statement said the aircraft carrier and the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee anchored near Hong Kong on Monday, Stars and Stripes reported.

Retired Vice Adm. William Douglas Crowder, a former 7th Fleet commander and a former deputy chief of naval operations, told NPR that Navy ships typically use locators in receive-only mode — they can see other vessels using the system, but can't be seen by them.

"It's all about operational security," Crowder said. "We don't want to be broadcasting our exact position to everyone."

One expert told Stars and Stripes he doesn't think America's adversaries will learn much from the warships' locator data.

"Chinese [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] would already have a rather good notion of the locations of U.S. surface ships from a variety of sources, including satellite monitoring, Skywave Radar, the large Chinese fishing and merchant fleets, as well as China's huge Coast Guard and related maritime patrol assets," Lyle Goldstein, an associate professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., told Stars and Stripes.

Instead, he lauded the decision as prudent.

"I would imagine that anyways there are certain sensitive zones (near Philippines and Japan for example) wherein U.S. warships will continue to operate without active beacons as before for military security purposes," he said in a email to Stars and Stripes.

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A new Navy procedure to avoid collisions appears to be allowing people to track the warships online, Stars and Stripes reported.
us navy, ships, collision, location
314
2017-27-04
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 04:27 PM
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