Home » Documents » Secretary of the Navy Strategic Readiness Review


Secretary of the Navy Strategic Readiness Review

The following is the Dec. 11, 2017 U.S. Strategic Readiness Review released by Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. The study was launched after two fatal collisions in the Western Pacific between warships and merchant ships that killed 17 sailors.

From the Report:

The U.S. Navy is without question the most capable in the world but its primacy is being challenged as it sails into a security environment not seen since before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Another era of sustained peer-on-peer competition has arrived and failing to recognize and prepare for its very different challenges will have severe consequences. Even in a non-peer-on-peer environment, the Navy and the nation can ill afford the readiness deficiencies revealed in the recent ship-handling incidents in the Pacific. These deficiencies are of profound consequence. While the shipboard causes that led to those tragic events have been identified, this Strategic Review finds there are institutional deficiencies that have developed over decades that must now be addressed.

Many of these deficiencies have been observed and authoritatively documented for years, however the naval capacity that had been built up for the Cold War masked their impact. That past margin in ships, aircraft, and sailors enabled the Navy to make mitigating adjustments in fleet operations, training, maintenance, and funding to accomplish assigned missions. Today, those margins are long gone. A smaller fleet with fewer sailors is straining to meet the operational demands placed upon it. This Strategic Review examines the long degradation of readiness and recognizes that improvements in readiness will not happen overnight – they will require sustained focus, commitment, and funding. This Strategic Review also recognizes that necessary improvements can only occur with the concerted leadership of the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations and the support of the Secretary of Defense, Congress, and the American public.

The Navy assesses capability and capacity in the context of the number of capital assets, manning and training, equipping and maintaining, command and control, and operations. Those factors that drive readiness are all interrelated in a complex system-of-systems governed by regulations, policies, and processes that play out and act upon each other over time.

via fas.org

  • proudrino

    Very disappointing report. Instead of addressing the problems of today’s Navy the authors have blame-shifted to suggest that these problems date back to the Reagan era…. they do not. This “review” is nothing more than senior-level individuals standing around and admiring the problems while being very careful not to hold anybody too much to account for the current situation by making it into a three-decade long journey that has led to this point.

    Where is the corrective action? Where is the commitment for changing the system so that officers are capable of transiting the world’s waterways without running into slow-moving merchants or grounding themselves by sheer incompetence?

    Secretary Spencer and his senior leaders are not serious about fixing the Navy’s surface deficiencies.

    • incredulous1

      But not surprising in the least. The public displays of incompetence are only the tip of the iceberg of several seasons of neglect. I hope it was the low point already when the Chinese Foreign Ministry and PLAN said that the “US Navy was a hazard to navigation.” Were I CINC, that would have triggered relieving the CNO and those in charge of training and shaken everyone up to that fact that we never know when war is coming and we are the least ready in many many decades and our adversaries know this too well. Outgrowth of Obama’s plan is that the POTUS has far fewer options and diplomatic muscle if the world knows we are week. This is not acceptable no matter what your political leanings might be. The world counts on a strong US Navy.