Memo Formally Starts Navy Investigation Into U.S. Pacific Fleet Incidents

August 24, 2017 9:26 PM
USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) moored pier side at Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21. US Navy Photo

The investigation into four surface warship incidents that have resulted in hundreds of millions in damage, the confirmed death of eight sailors and nine more sailors missing has formally begun.

Following the collisions of guided-missile destroyers USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) and USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) with merchant ships, the grounding of guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54) and collision between USS Lake Champlain (CG-57) and South Korean fishing vessel, the Navy has begun a 60-day review, according to a Thursday memo outlining the scope of the review.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran directed U.S. Fleet Forces commander Adm. Phil Davidson, “to lead a Comprehensive Review of surface fleet operations and incidents at sea that have occurred over the past decade with emphasis on SEVENTH Fleet operational employment to inform improvements Navy-wide.”

Moran directed Davidson examine a combination of individual and unit training, requirements for the Navy’s Forward Deployed Naval Forces and evaluate utility of the current navigational equipment aboard ship and report back by the end of October.

Davidson is requested to, “make detailed recommendations with respect to corrective actions necessary to ensure the safety of our people, safe operations at sea, and the readiness of our forces,” read the memo.
“In the conduct of the review, you will seek input and insights from other services, industry, and highly qualified experts outside the services in order to ensure the widest possible perspective as we drive to the heart of the underlying issues and attack the root causes for these mishaps.”


Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Follow @samlagrone

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox