Readiness subcommittee seeks to improve 'persistently low' Navy readiness

By Aidan Quigley / July 28, 2021 at 1:50 PM

The House Armed Services readiness subcommittee is concerned about the Navy's implementation of its Optimized Fleet Response Plan, which aims to address long-standing readiness issues.

The subcommittee’s mark of the fiscal year 2022 defense bill, released today, states the Navy launched the OFRP in 2014 to address increased ship deployment lengths, maintenance issues, decreased predictability for the industrial base and declining ship conditions.

“The Navy has faced persistent challenges in implementing OFRP since its inception and Navy readiness declined between 2017 and 2019,” the subcommittee's bill states. “In addition, the Navy has experienced continued difficulties with ship maintenance timeliness, implementing training for the high-end fight, limiting deployment lengths, maintaining ship readiness after deployment to provide for surge capacity, meeting ‘fit and fill’ crewing goals across the fleet, and maintaining carrier air wing readiness.”

The service updated the OFRP in October 2020 to implement additional changes, but the subcommittee stated in its mark that it remains concerned about OFRP implementation.

The subcommittee’s bill instructs the comptroller general to evaluate the extent to which the Navy has achieved OFRP goals for “maintenance completion, timeliness, training certifications, personnel fit/fill rates, operational availability, and others.”

The subcommittee also wants the comptroller to evaluate the extent to which OFRP has affected carrier wing maintenance, training and readiness and the extent to which the Navy has worked to improve the OFRP.