4. Why Exactly Did the US need a Minesweeper to sail into a marine park?
Certainly the Philippines was an active theatre of war during WWII and the occasional mine does still crop up. But I doubt we really needed to be sweeping the area for them. Especially since we don't seem to have been invited and were asked to turn away.
I visited the 7th Fleet home page. They're already spinning a "the charts were out of date/incorrect" line of crap. To which I say a big so what if they were. The frigging park rangers radioed you to tell you you were getting close to it. You should have not been an arrogant ass LCDR Rice and listened to them. Not to mention, it's a minesweeper - a vessel to detect mines underwater. You'd think perhaps it would have advanced sonar to allow it to see things underwater like, I dunno, a reef.
The whole situation makes no sense unless we just assume the commander of the Guardian, or whoever was in command at the time, was havin a small-penis day and decided to prove to the park rangers his was bigger than theirs.