Following two collisions of Navy guided-missile destroyers in the past three months, the House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing next month focused on the underlying problems.
The Sept. 7 hearing will be hosted by both the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces and readiness subcommittees, according to a statement.
Naval Surface Forces commander Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden and John Pendleton, the defense force structure and readiness issues director for the Government Accountability Office, will testify on problems associated with the Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and the John S. McCain (DDG-56).
Both ships are Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and were built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works.
House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee Ranking Member Joe Courtney (D-CT) told Inside Defense today he would like information from GAO on the Navy's maintenance of ships based overseas. The congressional watchdog has closely followed this topic.
Courtney said the collisions involving the Fitzgerald and McCain seem "systemic," and lawmakers may opt to "beef up" provisions in the next defense authorization bill.
Subcommittee Chairman Rob Wittman (R-VA) said he supports the Navy's operational pause, according to an Aug. 23 statement provided to Inside Defense.
"I believe that there are even more basic causes for this systematic operational failure of our fleet, to include a demanding operational tempo, limited training opportunities and inadequate funding to support basic needs," according to Wittman. "I look forward to conducting a detailed review of ongoing Navy operations to ensure the basic safety of our sailors and sufficient forces for our national security."