US Navy Commander Relieved After LCS Hits a Cargo Ship in Canada

| July 4, 2019

uss billings
The future littoral combat ship USS Billings (LCS 15) conducts acceptance trials on Lake Michigan, Dec. 6, 2018. (U.S. Navy/Lockheed Martin)

Littoral Combat Ship USS Billings (LCS-15) is pier-side in Montreal undergoing repairs after making contact with a merchant ship on Friday.

The Freedom-class LCS, delivered to the Navy in February, was leaving its slip when it collided with the bulk carrier Rosaire Desgagnes.

The LCS was under the assistance of two tugs when the starboard side of the warship made contact with the port side of the carrier that was moored at the pier, the Navy said in a Wednesday statement.

“Video from the scene shows that Billings was stemming a strong current, and the direction of her exhaust stream suggests that the wind would have tended to set her towards shore,” read a report in The Maritime Executive.

By Gina Harkins
The commanding officer of a precommissioned littoral combat ship has been removed from his job after the vessel hit another ship in Canada last month.

Cmdr. Michael Johnson, commanding officer of the future littoral combat ship Billings’ blue crew, was relieved of command on Friday, Navy officials announced. The decision was made by Capt. Shawn Johnston, the head of Littoral Combat Ship Squadron Two, after the Billings struck the Canadian cargo ship Rosaire Desgagnes June 21.

Officials with Naval Surface Force Atlantic could not immediately be reached for comment about Johnson’s relief. Witnesses told First Coast News the future LCS somehow lost control after the lines from tugboats assisting it were let go when it was leaving the dock in the St. Lawrence River.

Harsh, but the rules are clear. The entire article may be viewed here:

Category: Military issues, Navy

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Jeff LPH 3, 63-66

Navy fires commanding officer after collision
By: Geoff Ziezulewicz   3 days ago

The future littoral combat ship Billings conducts acceptance trials on Lake Michigan on Dec. 6. Billings is the 17th littoral combat ship. (Lockheed Martin)
The commanding officer of the future littoral combat ship Billings was fired Friday after his vessel struck a moored bulk cargo ship in a Montreal port on June 21.

Cmdr. Michael Johnson was relieved as head of the warship’s blue crew “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to Naval Surface Force Atlantic spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson.

LCS Billings collided with the larger Canada-flagged bulk cargo vessel Rosaire A. Desgagnes that afternoon, causing minor damage above the water line to the U.S. warship, officials announced.

The warship was in Canada as part of a routine transit ahead of its August commissioning in Key West, Hillson said.

What caused the collision remains under investigation, but Hillson said last week the ongoing probe won’t delay the commissioning ceremony.

Navy’s newest LCS strikes vessel
Navy’s newest LCS strikes vessel
The Navy took possession of the Freedom-class variant in February.

By: Geoff Ziezulewicz
LCS Billings left Montreal on Monday morning on its way to Florida’s Naval Station Mayport, its future homeport.

Johnson assumed commanding officer duties for the warship’s blue crew in June 2018 and has been temporarily reassigned to the staff of Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 2, Hillson added.
Cmdr. Nate Rowan has assumed temporary duties as the commanding officer for Billings’ blue crew.

He previously helmed both LCS Wichita and LCS Billings, Hillson said.

Johnson’s relief was first reported by U.S. Naval Institute News.


Drive a desk, and mark time till retirement.

5th/77th FA

“…but the rules are clear.” ’bout like Mother Bell in a company vehicle. “Your fault, their fault, nobody’s fault, it is still the driver’s fault. What could you have done to avoid this reportable incident?” You could be sitting stopped at a red light, get rear ended and at the very least get a few days off without pay. Serious traffic violations/accidents could be subject to more severe discipline, up to and including dismissal.

Even with that smaller size ship that’s still a lot of mass that a good puff of wind and the ship is just a floating sail?

A Proud Infidel®™️

Not a good day for the US Navy but at least nobody got hurt or killed this time!


Shows the hazards of getting caught between an LCS and a pier–the attraction is very strong.

A Proud Infidel®™️

Aren’t the LCS’s also quite incapable of going more than thirty days without breaking down?


Parallel parking is a bitch for some people.

Toxic Deplorable B Woodman

“You hit my battleship, eh.”


Probably can’t even drive his own car without dings and dents.

Jan Koekepan

I recently had a long conversation with an interesting gentleman on the point.

Former navy, lieutenant commander.

Former merchant marine, master mariner.

He was particularly outspoken about the way that the US naval education system shortchanges seamanship, in favour of naval combat strategy; what he described as everybody’s idea of the “cool part” of their education.

With his merchant marine training in mind (and he’s spent serious time in rough seas near both poles, in various industries including commercial fishing and cargo) he said that he would not regard most naval officers as competent seamen or masters, simply because the training that they receive is inadequate, incomplete, and de-emphasised anyway. He was in favour of having the helm under the captain’s command, but in the hands of a warrant officer who has dedicated their career to the purpose of ship handling.

He also said that anyone who wants to be an officer should spend a lot more time, possibly under the guidance of coast guard trainers, starting on everything from rubber ducks, leading up to serious steel. The alternative is to waste a lot of time, money and careers on avoidable problems.

Just his opinion, paraphrased. But I think that he’s in a better position than most to consider this.