After four combined engineering casualties within the last year, the commander, Naval Surface Forces (NAVSURFOR), “ordered an engineering stand down for every [Littoral Combat Ship] crew to review procedures and standards for their engineering departments,” the Navy said in a statement issued late Monday.
Following recently disclosed engineering casualties on the Independence-class USS Coronado (LCS-4) and the Freedom-class USS Freedom (LCS-1), Vice Adm. Tom Rowden ordered stand down for all LCS crews and the LCS squadron (LCSRON) which was completed on Aug. 31
“These stands down allowed for time to review, evaluate, and renew our commitment to ensuring our crews are fully prepared to operate these ships safely,” Rowden said in a statement.
In addition to the LCSRON review, Rowden said there would be additional retraining engineering sailors on the two ships.
“I have asked the Surface Warfare Office School (SWOS) commander to review the wholeness of our LCS engineering education and training to include the testing and retraining of all LCS engineers,” Rowden said.
“This training will occur over the next 30 days and will allow the SWOS leadership to review our training program and determine if other changes need to be made to the training pipeline.”
According to the service, “the required engineering training will be conducted by the SWOS’ engineering team, who will develop both a level-of-knowledge test and specialized training that will be deployed in the next 30 days to the LCS engineering force. The commanding officer of SWOS is also conducting a comprehensive LCS engineering review, which will likely take 30-60 days. From there, more adjustments may be made to the engineering training pipeline.”
In addition to announcing the stand down and the retraining, the service also announced following Sunday’s return of Coronado to Hawaii NAVSURFOR sent a team to the ship “to take a holistic look at the engineering program on board. A preliminary investigation will provide an initial assessment and procedural review of the situation, and any shortfalls will be addressed quickly to get the ship fixed and back on deployment,” read the statement.
The word of the stand down and the ongoing retraining for the engineering departments comes ahead of a soon-to-be-revealed LCS review that promises fundamental changes on how both classes are manned, equipped and operated, USNI News understands.