From Young Cons:
There have been 4 recent collisions of U.S. Navy ships, with two of those collisions resulting in the deaths of 17 sailors.
Now the Navy is admitting it’s because they let standards drop.
From Daily Mail:
A senior US Navy officer told a congressional oversight panel Thursday that the hectic pace of military operations and a constrained military budget don’t excuse two warship accidents in the Pacific region that killed 17 American sailors.
The incident led the sea-going service to order a broad investigation into its performance and readiness.
‘No matter how tough our operating environment or how strained our budget, we shouldn’t be and cannot be colliding with other ships and running aground,’ Admiral William Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, told members of the House Armed Services Committee.
Why did the collisions happen?
‘We have allowed standards to drop as the number of certifications has grown,’ he added.
‘That is not about resourcing; it is about safety and it is about leadership at sea.’
Moran said the Navy is ‘shocked’ by the collisions involving the USS John S. McCain in August and the USS Fitzgerald in June.
He also said that they are under strain because they are deploying around 100 ships every day.
(YC) – But he also used the hearing to decry the practice of providing defense budgets by way of stopgap spending measures which have taken place over last eight years under the Obama administration and that has to change to stop the problem.
The stopgap bills have been used frequently over the last eight years and lock the Pentagon’s budget in at last year’s level, which bars military services from starting new programs or ending old ones.
That forces the services to move money from their weapons modernization and training accounts to pay for current missions.
(YC) – Moran said that in the wake of the McCain collision, they’ve launched a wide-ranging review to look at those questions and also to assess sailor training and proficiency in navigation.
They are also investigating the specific causes of those collisions.
The GAO had found that more than a third of the warfare certifications for cruiser and destroyer crews based in Japan, including certifications for seamanship, had expired as of June and that the expirations had increased 5x in the last two years.
Although the Defense Department has a budget of just over $600 billion for the 2017 budget year, senior military officials have repeatedly argued that more money is needed to halt an erosion in the military’s readiness for combat.
They’ve urged Congress to repeal a 2011 law that set strict limits on military spending and forced a reduction in the number of ready-to-fight combat units.
Moran said the Navy’s operational demands continue to grow even though its fleet has shrunk dramatically.
‘The Navy has deployed, on average, about 100 ships around the world each day, collectively steaming thousands of underway days each year, despite having the smallest battle fleet since before World War I, and significantly smaller than the Navy we had immediately after 9/11 over a decade ago,’ he said.
(YC) – This is one example of what the Obama administration did to the military.
You can’t up the demands, continually cut the funding and expect to maintain military readiness…