Norwegian warship accident raises questions on women in armed forces

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A multi-million dollar warship under the NATO command was entirely submerged after it struck an oil tanker in the early hours of November 8 in a Norwegian fjord.

The KNM Helge Ingstad, dubbed as ‘unsinkable’, collided with a Malta oil tanker Sola TS. A 10-metre-long gash was torn into the side of the warship, which is one of the five in Norway’s navy. The tanker, however, is said to be unharmed.

The efforts to rescue the ship, which ran aground on underwater rocks, were foiled after the cables, attached to hold the frigate in place to prevent it from sinking, snapped. Now all that remains above the waterline is the frigate’s top, antennas and radar.

The warship was on its way home to Haakonsvern naval base after travelling around the fjords for navigation training.

Questions remain as to why the well-equipped warship could not avoid hitting the slow moving, 62,557 ton, 250-metre-long oil tanker. The KMN Helge Ingstad is one of the five Nansen-class frigates billed as “unsinkable” due to its construction with water-tight zones designed to keep the warship “intact and operable”.

All the crew escaped and only eight of the 137 on board were hurt. According to CNN, a joint Norwegian and Maltese investigation is now underway to try and determine the cause of the collison.

The crash and the subsequent sinking of the frigate has given rise to discussions on gender politics and political correctness in Norway.

Sound recordings and radar logs have revealed crude, almost incomprehensible, human errors made by the crew. According to experienced naval officers, the mistakes make the crew look amateurs. This, too, seems to have supported the claim of sceptics who have wondered about the role of women in armed forces.

In 2016, Norway introduced conscription for women. The Navy received the highest number of women after conscription duties were introduced.

The Norwegian publication Armed Forces had in an article heaped praises on the KNM Helge Ingstad crew in which four out of five navigatos were women. “It is advantageous to have many women on board. It will be a natural thing and a completely different environment, which I look at as positive,” Lieutenant Iselin Emilie Jakobsen Ophus, a navigation officer at the warship, had said.

Norwegian journalist, military expert and political analyst Helge Lurås has suggested that the dramatic incident is closely related to the proportion of women in the Norwegian Armed Forces.

Luras claimed that the inclusion of women in the armed forces has had an effect on its professional culture. He writes that the armed forces prefer to be politically correct by increasing the number of women in the agency. “It is assumed that women make the Armed Forces better. Those who should think otherwise, receive a plain message that their opinions are undesirable,” Lurås wrote.

Luras questioned Navy’s reluctance in giving out the details of the incident as to who were at the helm at the time. He asks whether the Navy’s priority should be spending energy and resources on ‘integration’ and creating a ‘balanced’ work environment or defending the country with the best available resources.

The uninsured frigate has cost the Norwegian Navy its entire annual budget, but the country also lost millions of dollars with several oil and gas fields being temporarily shut down due to the accident.

Source: The Week

KNM Helge Ingstad.jpg

Class and type: Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate
Displacement: 5,290 long tons (5,370 t)
Length: 133.2 m (437 ft 0 in)
Beam: 16.8 m (55 ft 1 in)
Draft: 7.6 m (24 ft 11 in)

Source: Wikipedia

On June 17, 2017, shortly after 1:30 a.m., the USS Fitzgerald, a $1.8 billion destroyer belonging to the 7th Fleet, collided with a giant cargo ship off the coast of Japan. Seven sailors drowned in their sleeping quarters. It was the deadliest naval disaster in four decades.

Barely two months later, it happened again. The USS John S. McCain, its poorly trained crew fumbling with its controls, turned directly in front of a 30,000-ton oil tanker. Ten more sailors died.

Source: ProPublica

Junior officer LTJG Sarah Coppock pleaded guilty to a single criminal charge of “dereliction in the performance of duties through neglect contributing to the deaths” for her role in the collision. Coppock was the officer of the deck when Fitzgerald collided with ACX Crystal.

Source: Wikipedia

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  1. ᛋᛉᚺᛟᚾ · March 29, 2020

    What a shame, a vessel class named after a great man befell such a fate, such a critical mistake could have been averted. Where are the standards of entry? I hope for the essence of his honor this vessel is salvaged and the Norwegian Navy does not continue on this obtuse course.

    “Alas! Alas! Life is full of disappointments; as one reaches one ridge there is always another and a higher one beyond which blocks the view.” ~ Fridtjof Nansen.


    • Viking Life Blog · March 30, 2020

      Yeah, classic Clown World. I read, that one of the women “driving” the ship was an American-NATO trainee.

      Life is a struggle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ᛋᛉᚺᛟᚾ · March 30, 2020

        Life is a struggle and when he reach a pitfall we either have the choice of climbing back upwards or staying down. Much like the common turn of phrase: falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Viking Life Blog · March 30, 2020

      Good point.
      That’s a good way to tell if people are LARPing, they talk about life goals as “then I made it”. Without any thoughts of after.
      The Mærsk guy only semi retired a few years before his death. There are always goals to seek.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. tonytran2015 · March 30, 2020

    Political Correctness rules the waves!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Viking Life Blog · March 30, 2020

      Oh yes, they have a firm grip on the waves (too).
      Super oil-rich Norway (Mountain Denmark) really proves, that good times makes weak people.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. germanicunity · March 31, 2020

    Reblogged this on Germanic Unity.


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  6. Viking Life Blog · July 6, 2021

    Alexander L. Kielland was a Norwegian semi-submersible drilling rig that capsized while working in the Ekofisk oil field in March 1980, killing 123 people. It was a platform of the Pentagone series.

    The capsize was the worst disaster in Norwegian waters since World War II. The rig, located approximately 320 km east of Dundee, Scotland, was owned by the Stavanger Drilling Company of Norway and was on hire to the U.S. company Phillips Petroleum at the time of the disaster. The rig was named after the Norwegian writer Alexander Lange Kielland.

    The rig was built as a mobile drilling unit at a French shipyard, and delivered to Stavanger Drilling in July 1976. The floating drill rig was not used for drilling purposes but served as a semi-submersible ‘flotel’ providing living quarters for offshore workers. By 1978 additional accommodation blocks had been added to the platform, so that up to 386 persons could be accommodated.

    In 1980, the platform was working in the Norwegian North Sea providing offshore accommodation for the production platform Edda 2/7C.


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