News & Politics

Over the Bounding Main: Navy's Newest Ship Breaks Down at Sea

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Since the advent of Barack Obama as commander-in-chief, the old American get up and go has clearly got up and went:

The littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee, the Navy‘s newest ship that was commissioned in Milwaukee in November, broke down at sea Friday and had to be towed more than 40 nautical miles to a base in Little Creek, Va., the Navy Times reported.

The ship, constructed at the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, suffered an engineering problem while in route from Halifax, Canada, to Mayport, Fla., and ultimately its home port of San Diego, according to a post on the Navy Times website. The cause of the problem on the ship — which was towed to the Joint Expeditionary Base at Little Creek, Va. — is being evaluated by the ship’s crew and technical consultants, according to the Times.

Initial indications are that fine metal debris that collected in the lube oil filter caused the system to shut down, but the cause is not known, the Times reported.

Hey — let’s get a quote from everybody’s favorite military expert!

“Reporting of a complete loss of propulsion on USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) is deeply alarming, particularly given this ship was commissioned just 20 days ago,” Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee who has voiced serious reservations about the LCS program in the past, said in a statement to the Times.

“U.S. Navy ships are built with redundant systems to enable continued operation in the event of an engineering casualty, which makes this incident very concerning.” At the time of its commissioning critics said the $437 million ship still hadn’t met expectations.

Guess we can say that’s still true.