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Document: Navy Comprehensive Review of Surface Forces

The following is the U.S. Fleet Forces led, Comprehensive Review of Recent Surface Force Incidents. The report was released by the Navy on Nov. 2, 2017.

  • OldHickory21

    Well, I flipped through a lot of this, and it’s very comprehensive and well done. It’s heartbreaking to read the accounts of how watchstanders and their superiors failed to keep the ship safe for their shipmates resulting in horrific loss of life. (I hope they are all given counseling). Although the individual watchstander failures appear inexcusable and in some cases inexplicable, the big picture is that these people were all set up to fail by a system (the SWO training program) that is obviously wholly inadequate. And the system failed at its weakest point, in the Seventh Fleet where the OpTemp is high and where it appears standards had slipped further, and the distance is great from those outside the chain of command who perhaps could have observed these weaknesses and intervened.

  • tim

    This made for some interesting reading! What astounds me most of all is 3.6.1 … delayed action … sounding alarm … warning the crew.
    I can comprehend all the mistakes (well … I want to be kind), but this most natural, instinctive reaction of all, to shout out a warning – was missed?! This is a problem you cannot throw money at and solve it – like the other failures noted. Nowhere did I read a step be step, minute by minute history of the moments before the crashes ( that is what I hoped for – as time line is giving more information than just a chain of events – and in this report, it did not even list a warning or alarm – so I assume none was given. Although I do recall having read that one was given moments before?!) In light of what I have just said, I surmise that this is “the” reason for the unfortunate deaths. Blasting a collision warning, even only two or three minutes before, may well have saved many – if not all – lives. Everything else is secondary and this did not come out in the report or any of the discussions! I see this as very troubling – there has to be not just a list of failures, but also a qualification thereof.
    Next problem is that the 2009 efficiency plan, which was herewith deemed a contributing factor, did not seem to include a feedback loop to check its workings. Hopefully- this new plan includes one. There were voices that alerted HQ that there are problems, they were not acted upon – why? This report opens up more questions, than giving me answers. It is just shocking! Did anyone think of looking into what other service arms did or had to deal with and what consequences and outcomes changes had?
    This is anything but a comprehensive review (where much info was redundant to make it longer, as to appease a professor who asked for a 40 page report). While I recognize that the military is different from “the real world”, I do believe that consulting companies, such as Deloitte et al, may be able to contribute some principles that have proven to be effective in industry. The CNO said – wrongly – that the task is, what the security situation is. Not so – for we deal with many situations that we chose to deal with, but not necessarily must (he should read Clausewitz). We need to be effective and do it within our means (budget). If both are restricted, do you want to chose quantity over quality? Referring to our last president, it is now proven that you cannot simply cut off military funding without regard for balancing it against what is mission critical. Referring to our current president, we must – as he said himself – strike better deals, if we take on security situations that pose a “situation” for others too and not just for the USA! We cannot “police” the free world for free. These incidents are not something where only the 7th fleet must learn from!

  • Armed Infidel

    To much reliance on technology and not enough of the basic seamanship and navigation.