The Insider

CNO: U.S. 7th Fleet collisions ‘preventable’

By Lee Hudson  
November 2, 2017 at 4:05 PM

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said today the guided-missile destroyer collisions in U.S. 7th Fleet “were preventable.”

The Navy released a report yesterday concluding the collisions involving the Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and John S. McCain (DDG-56) were a result of failure to adhere to sound navigation practice, execute basic watch-standing practices, properly use available navigation tools and respond deliberately and effectively when in extremis.

Richardson told reporters at the Pentagon that the initial repair cost estimates tally $600 million. The Navy will learn more once the McCain returns to Yokosuka, Japan, he added.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters in September the service has asked Congress for additional fiscal year 2018 operations and maintenance funding to pay for the repairs.

The Navy first announced its review of the U.S. 7th Fleet in August.

Naval Surface Forces Commander Vice Adm.Thomas Rowden in September called for attention to manning and certifications following the collisions, according to a document obtained by Inside the Navy. In October, Rowden directed all surface ships undergo a “ready for sea assessment.”

Separately, Richardson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in September the Navy had begun “watchstander proficiency and material readiness” of all ships assigned to Japan.