SECNAV Spencer Launches Independent Surface Incident Investigation

September 1, 2017 8:50 PM
Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer delivers remarks at a dinner hosted by The National Association of Destroyer Veterans on Aug. 23, 2017. US Navy Photo

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer has launched a civilian-led review to run parallel to the military investigation into the underlying reasons behind a string of surface navy incidents that have resulted in the deaths of 17 sailors and hundreds of millions in damages, according to a Sept. 1 memo launching the effort obtained by USNI News.

The SECNAV’s Strategic Readiness Review will coincide with the Navy’s Comprehensive Review of Recent Surface Fleet Incidents that was announced on Aug. 24.

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 began a 60-day review to be overseen by U.S. Fleet Forces commander Adm. Phil Davidson.

The Spencer-ordered review will look back at ten years of Navy operations and create a recommendation for corrective actions, according to memo.
“The Strategic Readiness Review team will be led by a civilian of my selection and will include service and industry experts involved with former investigations who have the ability to contribute best practices from previous lessons learned from their individual expertise in order to assess the Comprehensive Review and inform and coalesce recommendations for a path forward,” read the memo.
“Following this examination, the Strategic Readiness Review team will further review appropriate accountability mechanisms deficiencies and lessons learned over this same time period in order to identify potential actions to assist with policy changes.”

The review will report back 30 days after the conclusion of the Davidson-led comprehensive review.

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.
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