VCNO: Budget instability drove risk with DDGs

By Justin Katz  
December 4, 2017 at 2:48 PM

Budget instability has forced the Navy to take unwanted risks that may have contributed to the destroyer collisions in U.S. 7th Fleet earlier this summer, according to a top service official.

"There's no question that the budget instability has driven hard choices that have caused us to take risk in areas that we would not have liked to have taken risk in," Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran told reporters following remarks at a Dec. 4 Washington conference.

Moran was charged with conducting a comprehensive review of the collisions earlier this year. The Navy released that report to the public in November.

He cited the lack of commonality among the guided-missile destroyers as one form of risk.

"Our DDGs are outfitted differently from one ship to another because we haven't been able to put all the common equipment on every single one," he said. "That's something we'll take a hard look at."

Asked about when the destroyer Fitzgerald (DDG-62) will return to Mississippi for repairs, Moran said the Navy has had "hiccups with the Fitz in terms of loading it and getting it underway. But once it's on its way . . . its [trip is] defined within days."

The Navy revealed last month the Fitzgerald needs heating, ventilation and air conditioning system repairs, Inside the Navy previously reported. Huntington Ingalls Industries will perform those repairs.