It turns out the Navy may have skipped some key training with its collision-prone Pacific fleet
The Seventh Fleet may have a severe readiness problem, according to a government watchdog.
The warfare training certifications for eight out of eleven US Navy destroyers and cruisers based in Japan, home to the US Seventh Fleet, expired as of June, according to CNN, which cites an unpublished report from the Government Accountability Office. The certificates were for mobility and seamanship, air warfare, and undersea warfare.
For a number of these ships, the training certificates expired as seven sailors died aboard the USS Fitzgerald and another 10 perished on board the USS John McCain after massive merchant vessels struck the ships.
The fatal collisions are part of a string of serious incidents that have occurred over the past year. Both of the collisions are under investigation.
The Philippine-flagged container vessel ACX Crystal slammed into the side of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald before dawn June 17 in waters off Japan. Two months later, on Aug. 21, the oil tanker Alnic MC collided with the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John McCain near Singapore. Ten sailors were killed in the second incident, bringing the number of American sailors killed in the two accidents up to 17.
In the wake of the most recent collision, the Navy decided to relieve Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander of the Seventh Fleet, of his command due to a lack of confidence in his leadership.
The Seventh Fleet handles most naval operations in the Pacific, from pressuring North Korea to freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea. The USS John McCain had actually just completed a freedom-of-navigation operation just prior to the collision.
Preliminary reports on the incident involving the USS Fitzgerald attributed the crash to poor seamanship. While the incidents are still under investigation, there have long been readiness concerns as the size of the fleet decreased while the number of ships deployed remained constant, with the length of deployments increasing.
“The Navy has had to shorten, eliminate, or defer training and maintenance periods to support these high deployment rates,” John Pendleton, director of the GAO defense capabilities and management, said in his written testimony, according to CNN.
“Navy officials told us that US-based crews are completely qualified and certified prior to deploying from their US homeports, with few exceptions,” he added. “In contrast, the high operational tempo of ships homeported overseas had resulted in what Navy personnel called a ‘train on the margins’ approach, a shorthand way to say there was no dedicated training time set aside for the ships so crews trained while underway or in the limited time between underway periods.”
- Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Protection Agency Should Be ‘Abolished,’ Says Think Tank
- James Clapper Says He Was Unaware Of Manafort Wiretap Order [VIDEO]
- Countries Involved With Nuclear Deal Say Iran Is In Compliance
- There’s A Strange GOP Primary Going On In Alabama
- Antifa Professor Called For Killing Police Officers
- ‘Tangled Rat’s Nest’ To Memorialize Dwight Eisenhower
Follow @DailyCaller on Twitter .
This is the history behind the Navy's 'dixie cup'
The famous "dixie cup" is one of the most iconic symbols in the military today. You can spot a sailor from a mile away just from seeing this headgear.
The threats just keep coming from Russia over Syria strikes
Russia has warned the US that it will retaliate if Syrian government forces come under fire from positions held by a US-backed, Kurdish-led militia.
These narcos are going old school with their latest drug smuggling vessels
Since June, Coast Guard vessels patrolling the US's southern approaches have stopped seven stealthy ships that ride low in water to spirit illicit cargo.
The Marines' Hymn will make you want to re-enlist
The U.S. Marine Corps has bravely served our country since 1775, and The Marines’ Hymn reflects that legacy. Here's what you might not have known about it.
This is why Morgan Freeman is Russia's newest target
A new video features Morgan Freeman railing against Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Russian diplomats say he's been duped by political interests.
The Marine Corps could soon have its first female infantry officer
The unidentified lieutenant just finished a three-week combat exercise, the last graded portion of the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course.
This new tool shows what nukes would do to your home
Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science, has created an interactive map you can use to see how a nuclear detonation would impact your city.
How to kidnap Marines — according to a combat training role player
In this episode, we speak with Kelvin Garvanne about his life as an Arabic/Iraqi role player, and how he takes training troops to a whole new level.
This is how you fight when the waters are rising
Underwater, all the fitness in the world won't save you if you can't keep your head. But dying is dumb. Time to summon a little amphibian ambition.
THE MIGHTY SURVEY GIVE-AWAY
We want to hear your thoughts. Complete our survey for a chance to win 1 of 5 gaming consoles