CNO: Navy inspecting all ships assigned to Japan

By Justin Katz / September 19, 2017 at 10:41 AM

Following multiple collisions in U.S. 7th Fleet, the Navy has started inspections that include "watchstander proficiency and material readiness" of all ships assigned to Japan, according to the chief of naval operations.

Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee today about ship collisions at sea, Adm. John Richardson in his written testimony said the readiness for sea assessments will "ensure ships are able to safely navigate, communicate and operate." 

Richardson also said that U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift is standing up a Naval Surface Group Western Pacific "to consolidate authorities to oversee the training and certification of forward-deployed ships based in Japan." 

The Navy will also review the certifications of each ship, and the waivers for ships whose certifications have expired will be approved by the PACFLT commander.

Richardson is testifying to the committee with Navy Secretary Richard Spencer about the collisions of the destroyers John S. McCain (DDG-56) and Fitzgerald (DDG-62), which resulted in the deaths of 17 sailors.