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Gender politics and the sinking of the KNM Helge Ingstad

Returning from the NATO Trident Juncture strategic exercise, a Norwegian frigate collided with a tanker. Many are speculating that gender politics sunk the vessel.

Published: November 14, 2018, 8:37 am

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    The collision with the KNM Helge Ingstad left a big enough hole in the starboard side of the frigate for the warship to take on water. The crew has been forced to abandon the vessel, The Barents Observer reported. On Tuesday morning, most of the navy ship was already under water.

    The warship, one of Norway’s five top modern frigates, was on her way home to Haakonsvern naval base, but it is still a mystery why the well-equipped warship couldn’t avoid colliding with the 250 meters long oil tanker just north of the oil terminal.

    The weather was excellent while the waters in the area offer maritime traffic real-time shipping control. Also, there was radio-contact between the vessels when the accident happened.

    The nagging question remains as to why the frigate, with all its radars and sensors, could not change course to avoid the collision.

    The Armed Forces appear reluctant to speak about the crew of the KNM Helge Ingstad.

    Judging by the sound record and expert statements, the crew made crude, almost incomprehensible human errors, making them look like amateurs.

    “If this is how the Navy trains its naval officers, it’s shocking. They do not show any discipline or understanding of the roadmap rules, nor how to communicate or navigate at sea,” the experienced captain and navigator Geir S Eilertsen remarked.

    “In the audio log, you hear the use of voice that does not seem as if the crew in the frigate is aware of the situation they are in. They are not aware that they are heading for danger,” he said.

    Retired Commander Jacob Borresen, also found the collision inexplicable. “The fact that it happened in this particular area is incomprehensible. Here we have a traffic centre packed with radar monitoring equipment reading transponder signals from all the vessels in the area.

    “The frigate had state-of-the-art radar equipment and infrared optical systems. How is it possible that the vessels didn’t see each other?” Borresen responded an interview with Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.

    An increasing number of readers have contacted Resett pointing to previous speeches about KNM Helge Ingstad, where the publication Armed Forces had been more than willing to praise the crew.

    The appointment of the crew was highly controversial at the time, especially to critics who are familiar with the inner workings and operations of the Armed Forces.

    The debate had centred around the number of women in the Navy, the extent to which they are quoted in requirements compared to men, and what effect it had on the professional “culture” of the Armed Forces.

    In the Norwegian magazine, Armed Forces Forum No. 2 in 2017 it was stated that “Four out of five navigators on frigate KNM Helge Ingstad are 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 said. She is a navigation officer at KNM Helge Ingstad, according to Defense Forum.

    In yet another politically correct nod, the text notes that: “The Navy receives a much higher number of women after general conscription duty was introduced. Therefore, more women are also more motivated for further career opportunities in the Armed Forces.

    “There has always been a perception that the Armed Forces are characterized by a very masculine environment, and in many ways it is true. It is mostly men in the Armed Forces, but it is important for me to show that you do not have to be ‘one of the guys’ to assume a role in the Armed Forces. Finding one’s place should not be at the expense of being a woman,” said Ophus.

    When more women are able to work together, “it becomes easier to discover and to create a more balanced defense,” Armed Forces Forum opined.

    “It is important that the integration of women should work in every aspect: from officers and constables, to people,” Ophus said, adding: “The most important thing for me is that my job makes sense because you work for something bigger than yourself.”

    In the same magazine where the Norwegians boast about gender equality in their Navy, they also explained that they are looking into every department of their Armed Forces to apply the same formula.

    Norway’s Ministry of Defence has not yet reported whether they plan to lift the frigate from where it sunk to repair the vessel. All the 137 people on board the KMN Helge Instad were successfully evacuated.

    Not only did the demise of the uninsured frigate cost the Norwegian Navy its entire annual budget, but the country lost millions with several oil and gas fields which were temporarily shut down due to the accident.

    Since the oil companies pay 78 percent taxes to the state for production, the shutdown resulted in a substantial economic loss, national broadcaster NRK reported.

    ​The KMN Helge Ingstad is one of five Nansen-class frigates billed as “unsinkable” due to its construction with water-tight zones designed to keep the warship “intact and operable”.

    The vessel had taken part a “high visibility” exercise shortly before the collision.

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    • xiquitinx

      I found some pictures of KNM Helge Ingstad, and I can’t believe that 80% were women. Maybe, some labours, as navigation have 80% of women, but maybe other works have another proportion. The norwegian army has more men than women. The recruitment system is 50/50 and mandatory, but more men continues the military career. If 80% of that crew are women, that implicates than other military tasks are realized mainly for men. In other way, there are lot of ship accidents with crews with more men than women, and nobody think that the gender of the crew may be a factor.

      • jarel nomeh

        If something seems implausible, read again.
        “Four out of five navigators”

        • dcardno

          Or possibly the helmsman (or equivalent) – but agreed, not on the mechanics, oilers, etc

    • JBluen

      It’s a particularly dimwitted time we live in, isn’t it?

      • Clive_G

        Yes, and it’s unfortunately getting dimmer every moment – and almost no-one carries a flashlight.

    • s_c_f

      It really is incomprehensible that such a powerful and capable boat would sink under such a non-threatening and normal situation. A random guy with a rowboat in the local pond handles his boat better than the set of idiots on that navy frigate.

    • Dad_All_Day

      As a retired sea-going officer, I have had conversations on the bridge in tense circumstances, both on the receiving end and the directing end. The orders that were passed were direct and loud and often hurtful of feelings. I’ve tried to imagine one woman speaking to another in similar circumstances with similar successful outcomes (with the post-incident blood-letting that followed for training) and simply cannot. Four of five nav officers were female, and during a sea-and-anchor evolution they were all on the bridge–who wants to bet that their inability to speak forcefully in the circumstances wasn’t a major contributor? And this isn’t about being male or female in the end; it’s about be a sailor.

      • Gerry28

        Reading the story, why would there have been a need for the situation on the bridge to be “tense”? And what need would there have been to speak “forcefully”. It all sounds perfectly straight forward. Being a female, and knowing females, I wouldn’t trust more than 2 of them on the bridge at the same time. Bring back the men!

        • Dad_All_Day

          You may be female, but if you need to ask why the bridge might be tense, you haven’t had the conn. It’s never routine, and if you think it is, you may be about to get into trouble. I speak from literally hours and days of bridge time at sea-and-anchor and other special evolutions.

          • Gerry28

            Can’t talk to my ret’d cousin about it as he’s not well but I did wonder what his opinion would be, having captained a ship. We’re not talking about abnormal tension here as the story gives absolutely no reason to believe there was any kind of a problem. But, I will go with Canuckguy’s guess. I’m not for women on board ships above or under the water.

            • Dad_All_Day

              Again, you don’t know the level of tension. One of the most tense days I had in the pilothouse was sunny and beautiful, nothing was moving faster than a couple of knots. The only people who were even aware of the danger at the moment were me and the conning officer, but we were literally seconds from running into another ship. Also, news stories are never complete or even accurate, especially in the early days when the reporters who don’t drive ships are at work.

            • Gerry28

              I was taking into account what a retired Commander (Norwegian) had to say. If there was one male on the bridge, no one will hear from him. Also, the other ship had sent them a warning which could have thrown the females into a flap (wondering about their level of training). Remembering during WWII, the number of ships that would be docking at Derry or in Portsmouth (not mentioning Can. ports). I’m a 90-yr-old female so know ship captains had to worry about the enemy as well.

        • Canuckguy

          Well just maybe things were ‘tense’ because all 4 women were having that monthly thingy at the same time.

          • Glenn Gallup

            They do tend to get synchronized pretty quickly in a work environment. One day it’s “Good morning ladies” “Good morning Glenn”. Two days later “Good morning ladies”. F*** you you b*****d, kill him etc”

      • The Oatmeal Savage

        Lots of jobs are like that.
        You need to get the point across NOW.
        Hurt feelings can be settled over a beer or in the parking lot.

    • Glenn Gallup

      Blaming the builders for the watertight integrity failing in …. 5 …. 4 ….. 3.

      • Glenn Gallup

        If they are men.

    • Gregg Kemp

      Hey, listen up goddamn it. You cant paint yer’ fuckin’ nails and Con the fucking ship at the same time. Getcher fuckin’ priorities straight. Jesus Fucking Christ.

      • Dad_All_Day

        Yep, that should have been part of the basic nav brief. The only conversation passing in the minutes prior to the collision should have been the CO saying, ‘you’re relieved. I have the conn.’

    • The Oatmeal Savage

      Did they fall on their fucking heads?
      What is that gibberish?

    • The Oatmeal Savage

      Well, Tiffany and Amber weren’t speaking to each other because Amber said something nasty to Brittany about Tiffany’s old roommate Jessica who is now going out with Brittany’s old boyfriend who also used to date Amber.

      I hope that clears it up.

    • Danny Lemieux

      So…why exactly do we continue to belong to NATO? It’s quite obvious that our “allies”‘ priorities are elsewhere and that they really don’t take the defenses of their own countries seriously. Our lesson from 20th Century history and beyond should be that we have no business trying to defend people who lack the will and seriousness to defend themselves.

    • Ed Shipley

      Well in the arena of fairness, and equal opportunity, socially, and cultural advancement(s) from the draconian mindsets, that have most obviously hindered the evolving of homo sapiens while under the dictating control of males……
      I say its high time we disallow for gender, in ANY of life events…..PERIOD.
      Once, and forevermore, we shall ALL live equally, with equality the NORM, based on NO mitigating factors, NONE….
      Perhaps extending this awareness to include race, religion, and political beliefs as well…..????

      I shall start, and lead, by example so others can witness, and then follow, its application.
      I, as a man, demand the right to become pregnant, with child, and demand in fairness of equality, that any, and ALL, state resources needed to make this event possible, be utilized, even if it means less resources are available to the “normal” process of child birth programs, as we know of it today…… its only fair.
      Not only does it allow a man to feel the completeness of the “life” in conception, most likely advancing a new understanding of compassion AND unconditional love which up to this point, only a woman has had the benifit of feeling and understanding…..
      It will also FREE the woman from the constraints of child birthing and rearing, thus allowing her to morph into a new creation, with unlimited possibilities.
      BTW, lets not muddle this wonderful opportunity to meld sex into a non entity, with any birth control debate at this time…….
      We shall let it stand as a choice, for now, because if this birthing thing HURTS…….
      I just might want to have a way out!

      Once we attain this great new advancement, and milestone to civilization, we can then investigate it further, via INTERSEX…..
      We already have a solid foundation, and forum, to gather more data on the subject, as all you have to do is look around to see how many folks, are already screwing themselves, up, by their very actions….. just say’n.

    • Joseph Powell

      Equality…in failure.
      Why yes, I am laughing at them.

    • EllenO

      Imagine this crowd actually having to do battle with an enemy. Perhaps the Russians or Chinese or even the Americans according to macaron.

      It will be over in a matter of minutes. Or perhaps their secret weapon is to send over a few blonde Norwegian sex bombs. A few fornicating Frederikas and the enemy will fold like a cheap suit.

    • Peter Berg

      I always said it is hard to write idiot proof software because idiots are so clever. That probably applies to unsinkable ships as well. Our own politically correct navy has been wrecking very expensive ships at an alarming rate and probably for the same reasons this Norwegian ship went down.

    • Arthur Ellingsen

      The captain was present on the bridge, yes? Was the message about collision course too late to be able to react? Obviously the navigation officer was not fit to handle the situation! A result of poor education or female way of acting upon and evaluating a situation? We will find out!

    • cylindrical crown

      Women will be removed from US warships when the first carrier battle group is destroyed in combat by hypersonic missiles. It will not necessarily be a forceful removal.

    • Cabo Da Hornos

      According to NATO statement at the night of collision the Frigate was engaged
      in “Navigation Training”…

      Unless there was a technical problem on Frigate this accident has a potential to
      become an Absolute LACK OF SITUATIONAL AWARENESS Case Study.
      (Post collision message to VTS : “We had hit an unknown object”.)

      “SYSTEM” > The Root Cause Question would be : If yes then Why the “System” in Charge had
      authorized in suppose to be “Normal/Not War” circumstances the group of military
      ships to perform Night Time “Navigation Training” in dense traffic Bergen Fjord
      /vicinity of major oil/gas terminal ???

      Post Collision Public Information Transparency ….

      Why the Tanker has been taken out of a focus after the collision and there are no
      pictures at all in media about damages on her bow/ hull?

      Why the Video/Audio Clip with Radar images of Collision circulated for couple of
      days after accident in media had been disabled?

    • nooki2
    • Rizzo Chuenringe

      All ships have to leave this fjord immediately! This is a reserved women’s parking area!

    • Bryan O’Driscoll

      But, but, but, I thought men and women were completely equal in ability in every way! In fact, women are superior to men in every way according to our feminist masters. So this accident must somehow have been caused by a man. It’s the only possible explanation.

    • stupid womens: like “Emilie Jakobsen” and the other stupid womens on board

    • catoke

      Sadly, this will be used against women who are very competent in a wide range of professions.


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