Discussion in 'YachtForums Yacht Club' started by AnotherKen, Feb 4, 2021.
Liar, liar, pants on fire.
Recent collisions involving the USS John S. McCain and the USS Fitzgerald have revealed deeply concerning facts: the U.S. Navy has a training problem.
As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a former Navy surface warfare officer and a current captain on a U.S.-flagged merchant vessel, I am concerned that electronic and simulation based training is now seen as an acceptable alternative to real world, at-sea experience.
It’s hard to believe, but many of the officers reporting on-board Navy vessels today have highly limited at-sea experience, and insufficient training to perform their duties. The at-sea training experience is largely limited to short-lived “summer cruises” that emphasize softer-skills like etiquette and leadership, over the technical and ship handling skills that should be required.
For young midshipmen, career path isn’t finalized until the final semester of their senior year, and additional extensive specialized training has always been required after graduation. That’s why, upon commissioning, I was assigned to Surface Warfare Officer School (SWOS), for an intensive course that taught vital watch and deck officer skills—skills that I otherwise would never have learned.
However, in an attempt to cut costs and reduce the timeline from commissioning to boots on deck, the Navy closed the SWOS program. The Navy has since become increasingly reliant on on-the-job training to fill the gap, but as a current captain I can tell you this is highly impracticable. It is unrealistic to expect operating ships, to deliver the instruction previously requiring a 6 month, 40 hour per week course. Without specialized training programs like SWOS, newly commissioned Ensigns arrive for their first sea assignment with minimal training and often less than 2 months at sea experience. "
A Solution to the U.S. Navy?s Training Problem (maritime-executive.com)
"Sailors from every active fleet responded to a ProPublica callout, noting a continued lack of training, widespread exhaustion and an acute sense of vulnerability.
One officer in the 2nd Fleet lamented that there was still not consistent training to enable men and women to master the wide variety of steering systems in place on the fleet’s ships. A sailor on a 7th Fleet aircraft carrier worried that the widespread problem of sleep deprivation was leading to profound mental health issues, with some sailors being placed on suicide watch. Another 2nd Fleet sailor said that the promised reforms aimed at improving training, adequately staffing ships and better caring for overtaxed service members sounded fine on their face, but that they ran the risk of proving to be a largely empty exercise.
One sailor told of how those serving on some ships coordinate via secret Facebook groups to try and help one another figure out how to operate and repair their vessels. Another said the wait for mental health care at one base was so long that she was forced to get some modest help for herself through her child’s therapist.
We Talked to Navy Sailors in Every Active Fleet. Almost All of Them Expressed Little Confidence in Navy Leadership. — ProPublica
There are dozens of similar articles out there. It is not JUST the 7th fleet, the issues are wide spread throughout all fleets.
This is a nice post because you didn't blame the Navy for the issues that are raised. Every single issue can be attributed to a lack of adequate funding. Nothing the Navy has the authority to fix.
The Navy is operating as funded. Navy Leadership cannot make anything happen without the right amount of funding anymore than any other organization can. I am getting the impression that a lot of people, even Navy people, don't realize that everything the Navy does costs money. If there isn't enough money for adequate training, manpower, and ships, then guess what? There will be the issues that are described above and maybe more "wrecks." The Navy needs a go-fund-me page or a Congress with guts.
No, they need to stop pissing money away on building useless ships like those LCS ones that they can't seem to find a purpose for and put the money towards the things they need such as training. What good is having the best destroyers in the world, if the Navy cannot even run them to the place in the world that they need to be, because they lack simple navigational skills?
I'm not blaming the Navy for anything. I am simply point out that they have many big problems within the organization, which is the truth and well publicized. How/Why is above my pay grade.
The LCS, the Zumwalt that was designed around the Advanced Gun System that turned out to be useless because each round ended up costing a million dollars, the Ford aircraft carriers that have non- to barely- functioning catapults, elevators, and arresting gear...
Now you're getting into procurement money which is different than operational money and training money. Did the Navy want the LCS or were they told you will have the LCS?
You're right about having a good destroyer is of no use if you can't navigate it. Send more money for training.
Good move separating this thread, and giving it an appropriate title that shows proper respect Kevin.
Shock trials for the USS Gerald R. Ford.
Some more video here: (looks to be from onboard)
Maybe that will reliably fix their novel catapult system. Nothing else seems to have worked. As troubled as the Ford's development has been, they're probably thanking God she didn't sink.