tv Naval Leadership Scolded Over Warship Collisions CSPAN September 20, 2017 6:44am-9:07am EDT
good morning, this committee meets this morning to receive testimony on recent navy collisions at sea, including uss lake champlain, uss fitzgerald and the uss john s mccain, as well as the rounding of the uss antietam. we welcome our witnesses, the honorable richard spencer, secretary of the navy, admiral john richardson, chief of naval operations and start on an, director of defense for structure and readiness issues at the government accountability office. i would like to take a moment to recognize family members who lost loved ones in the fitzgerald and mccain collisions, who are here with us today as honored guests. ofm the fitzgerald, the wife a chief petty officer, parents
of a petty up with her second class. let me express my deepest condolences to you all on behalf of this committee, the u.s. senate and the american people. your presence here today reminds us of our sacred obligation to look after the young people who volunteer to serve in the military. would those individuals i named stand so we can recognize their presence here? thank you and god bless. nameds thomas mccain was -- john s mccain was named after my father and grandfather. i remember the ship launching. my wife continues to serve as a ship sponsor. believe me, these tragedies are personal for me and my family and we share in your sorrow.
my commitment to all of you is that we will get to the bottom , it is simplyents unacceptable for u.s. navy ships to run aground or collide with to have for such incidents in the span of seven months is truly alarming. this committee takes seriously its oversight role, we will identify shortcomings, fix them and hold people accountable. we will learn lessons from these recent tragedies of to make the may be better, and all who serve in it safer. know our navy leaders chevys goals and will work with us to achieve them. to that end, i hope the witnesses will help us better understand what happened with regard to these incidents. we are interested in the status of investigations, common factors or trends identified, root causes and accountability measures. we would also like to know the extent and cost of damage to the
ships and operational impacts of unanticipated repairs. finally, we ask you to highlight areas in which we in congress can assist to help ensure the safety and proficiency of our sailors, including changes to current law. i am deeply concerned by mr. pendleton's written testimony, which indicates 37%, that is over one third, of the training certifications for u.s. navy cruisers and destroyers based in june.were expired as of as he notes, this represents more than a fivefold increase in the percentage of aches fired warfare certifications -- percentage of expired warfare certifications in the last five years. that is the ship's ability to fully be prepared to engage in combat. press reporting paints and even
bleaker picture. the mccain had experienced expired training certification in six of the 10 key warfare mission areas. the fitzgerald had expired certification in all 10 mission areas. admiraly spencer and richardson, i don't need to tell you that this is troubling and unacceptable. we acknowledge and appreciate the accountability actions of the navy has taken to date. the navy has relieved to commanding officers, a commander and captain, it has issued reprimands, 20 reprimands to other officers and sailors. since august 23, the strike group and fleet commander will have been relieved for cause. i assure you, the committee will do everything we can to support the navy leadership's efforts to course correct, that we must also call you to task and demand
answers as leaders of our navy. you must do better. in particular i would like to know why the recommendations to the gao and other relative -- related reviews were not effectively implemented and maintained. the lives of the 17 sailors lost in the fitzgerald and mccain collisions were priceless, and i mourn the loss. these preventable incidents also come with a very real price tag in terms of the cost of taxpayers. i understand the current estimate of repairs is million, but $600 the cost will also be felt in unexpected deployments for other ships to meet operational requirements. i'm also concerned by the apparent difficulty of navigating safely in the western pacific. with three of these ships nondeployed will or months or years of due to damage repairs,
there are serious questions about our maritime readiness to fight a response to north korea, chinese and russian aggression. spitzer andcted by richardson was quickly get to the bottom of this and identify root causes, corrective actions and further accountability actions. .ime is of the essence i hope these reviews fully examine how discrete changes over the years have compounded, resulting in de-prioritizing the need to do more with less. that has come at the expense of operational effectiveness. these changes include longer deployments, so-called optimal manning of ships, less hands-on in initial training, less time for maintenance, less time to train, and an officer personnel system governed by laws like the defense officer personnel
management act and the goldwater nichols act, which were put in place more than three decades waited awhich may have preference for breath of experience over depth of technical experience. we need to look seriously and rigorously at all of these types of systemic contributing factors, and i would like your assurance, secretary spencer, thatyou will do so, and you consider additional accountability actions and look at all levels of command as appropriate. incidentse focused on at sea today, this committee recognizes that the current readiness crisis affects all of our military services. it is part of a larger, deeper trend of forcing military units at the tactical level to try to do too much with too little. in the last three years, fatal training action -- training
accidents have taken the lives of four times more service members than our enemies have in combat. this cannot continue. unfortunately, this is an issue of command. there is plenty of blame to go around for the deteriorated state of the military, and we cannot ignore congresses responsibility. years of budget cuts, continuing resolutions, sequestration have forced our military to operate a high tempo with limited resources. ofknow it is, the cost training, maintenance, readiness, effectiveness and the lives of too many brave, young americans. our service chiefs, including the chief of naval operations, have testified repeatedly that the budget control act and sequestration are endangering the lives of men and women in uniform. .y dear friends, we were warned to fix this problem, we must all
do better. military leaders must make honest assessments of requirements and test the full extent of what they need. in turn, we in congress must provide these resources in a timely and protectable way. to trulyhe only way restore the readiness of our force. it is the only solution to ensuring that actions like this do not happen again. it is the bare minimum we owe to the brave men and women who risk their lives to defend our nation. senator reid. senator reid: i want to join senator mccain in welcoming you to the committee this morning to testify on the issues surrounding the recent accidents and the department's plans for determining what went wrong and what steps need to be taken and ensure such actions do not occur in the future. service can be dangerous. the country is set in when we
lose one of america's sons or daughters, it is to truly disturbing when young men or women are casualties in normal peacetime operations. i want to extend my condolences to the families of those who lost, i know i join on my colleagues in expressing our profound sympathy for your loss. becannot -- we should not judged the outcome of the internal navy reviews, however, we know the navy has been facing serious readiness problems caused by cancel training and deployment. in addition, they have been operating at a high tempo for a long period. this is been aggravated by many years of budget constraints and uncertainty, which has forced leaders into making difficult decisions. all of these factors have taken a toll on the navy commanders and operations. secretary spencer and admiral richardson, ask your commitment
as you are giving this situation your full attention, that you will follow this investigations wherever they lead, and that you will share all findings with congress. we must do all that is necessary to provide and sustain our navy and all our armed forces. i think the witnesses and look for to testimony. : secretaryain spencer. >> i want to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to talk about the state of our navy. before we move forward, i want to express our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones, and the crews that have lost one of their own in the last few months. the eyes ofd into many of these families and shared time with them, knowing their loved ones return home in a flag brick casket, i know my words are insufficient. please know that holly and i
have you in our thoughts and prayers. the 17 sailors from the uss fitzgerald and john is mccain were sons, husbands, fiances, uncles and friends. they were patriots and will not be forgotten. we pledge our full support to their families and crews. we will back our words with actions. navyve a problem in the and we're going to fix it. in addition to the investigations already initiated, we are conducting to thorough reviews, the sea and cno's review, and a strategic review comprised of military and industry experts looking at root causes, accountability, long-term systemic issues and then provide remedial insight. these reviews will consummate and enhance each other, providing the depth the
situation demands. have received and reviewed the recommendations from our teams, i will act to the limits of my authority to change processes and acquire any needed capabilities in order to protect our people. i'm here today to impress our sense of urgency and highlight a way forward to renew a culture of safety and training across the fleet. we will take lessons learned from the recent tragic events and come out the other side as a struggle, more capable -- at a stronger, more capable team. we are not waiting 60 days or 90 days to make adjustments. the we will take lessons learned from the recent tragic events and come out the other side a stronger, more capable navy marine corps team. we are not waiting 60 days or 90 days to make adjustments. the cn oh addresses the actions the fleet is taking to address the situation in ranging from ship to ship material inspections to the activation of ais radar identifications trafficking specific areas. we are not lying idle and i can
tell you we are committed. i appreciate the opportunity to work with you on remedial solutions and find a way forward. thank you, i look forward to your questions. >> admiral richardson. >> distinguished members of the committee, i thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the recent u.s. navy incidents at sea. to begin with i want to express my deep condolences to families of the 17 sailors who served with honor and distinction and lost their lives, the tragic incident, sailors acted heroically to save their ships as they combated flooding and loss of critical systems. the families of our sailors is the top priority, we will learn everything we can from these tragic events to prevent another accident. many family members are here
today and we will always stand with you. what we do is inherently dangerous. leadership responsibility is to ensure we provide the right training and oversight to keep our team safe and effective. we are taking immediate corrective actions to ensure we meet the readiness standard to prevent another mishap. we are not stopping with immediate actions. in addition to the investigation and specific incidents on fitzgerald and mccain we are conducting a comprehensive review which will turn over every stone to examine for more systemic problems. this will complement the secretary's strategic review. the corrosive confluence of high operational tempo, inadequate budgets and budget uncertainty. the funding approved in fiscal
year 17 is used to plug our most urgent readiness hold on the fleet with 18 requests sustained with the progress. we have prioritized maintenance and readiness dollars, full recovery will not happen overnight. it will take years with stable and adequate resources but make no mistake, these factors do exert negative force on the challenges we face, at the core this is about leadership, especially command. our first dollar, first molecule of effort, our first team must go to safety, safety is first and no matter what the situation those charged with command must achieve and maintain a standard resource teams are trained and ready to safely and effectively conduct assigned operations. we must remain vigilant meeting the standard fighting every pressure to the road it. commanders must meet the absolute standard for safe and effective teams. if we cannot meet the standard we do not deploy until we do.
we must establish a climate that promotes honest reporting. these incidents demand our full attention. we must provide our sailors the necessary resources and training to execute their assigned missions. i'm accountable for safe and effective operations of the navy and we will fix this. i own this problem. i'm confident the navy will identify root causes and direct them and they will be better in the end. thank you for the opportunity to be here. >> chairman mccain, thank you for having me here today, for navy readiness. i don't know what caused the recent accidents. this is between unrelenting operational demand and limited supply shifts. i am skeptical the navy will
make significant readiness games unless the demands are decreased. even with increased funding going forward, my assessment agreed with navy it will take several years to rebuild training and maintenance. foundations of readiness that have become shaky over time, significant management issues the navy must confront, ships based in japan have aggressive deployment schedules that do not have dedicated training programs like the united states did. the overseas ships, overseas base ships were so busy they had to train on margins. that was explained to me that it meant they had to squeeze in training when they could. the seventh fleet, it was ready, the navy has realized this
conventional wisdom is faulty. in 2015 the navy revised deployment schedules, dedicated training time, will assess the risk, with increased reliant facing the ships. dod and the navy agreed at least on paper but have taken little action, and more broad management challenges we must address like ship manning. an internal study found sailors work 100 hours a week in 2014. this was unsustainable and contributing to a poor safety culture. we recommended in brief the navy assess the work it takes to run a ship and use that. maintenance is taking longer and costing more. ship deployment have been extended causing ships to have
more problems when brought in for maintenance, shipyard struggled to keep pace for a number of reasons. over the past few years the lost operational days created by the maintenance overruns cost the navy the equivalent of the presence of three surface ships per year which strains the remaining fleet and it is an unsustainable cycle. as you know the navy is not alone in its readiness challenges which is why we recommended, this committee supported, thank you, the need for the development of departmentwide readiness rebuilding plan that explicitly balances resources with demands and is transparent how long it will take to rebuild readiness and what it will cost. i suggest you continue to insist the department applied to that
plan. over the past three years gao has made 14 recommendations to the department of defense to guide the navy and services for improved readiness. as the navy and dod developer roadmap going forward. i hope they consider recommendations to guide them. thanks for having me here today. >> i appreciate it, your testimony, thank you for the important work you do which is incredibly important to this committee. secretary spencer and admiral richardson, readiness has degraded in the last we 10 years. surface chain of command has become complicated on the waterfront, and accountability, the growing backlog of off ship require requirements and deep maintenance requirements that was not identified or resourced. the effort to derive efficiency is overtaken the culture of effectiveness, and the surface force is well below acceptable levels to support reliable
sustained operations for their full-service life expectancy. ships home ported overseas have limited training and maintenance which resulted in difficulty keeping crews trained and some have had success in deferred maintenance resulting in long-term material condition. and comprehensive risk for ships home ported overseas, important for the navy to identify mitigated risks. i could go on. do you agree these statements ring true today. >> and i agree with you.
and from 2010. and no navy leaders four years. >> much more to be done. these observations point, come in the work of mister pendleton and gao as well. there has been an effort to address those observations. we have not been sitting idle. it has been insufficient to close the readiness and effectiveness gap, we have been making steady investments to respond to indications we got in training and manpower and maintenance and will remain committed to closing that gap, reconciling the difference
between supply and demand. >> i can't continue this much further with asking your assessment of the effect of sequestration on your ability to address these conditions that i cited which come from gao and the navy itself. what effect does sequestration, we are now facing the same collision coming up as of one october, what effect does sequestration have in affecting these recommendations and situations described by the gao and the navy itself?
>> senator, the impact of sequestration and continuing resolution is an impact on the navy that is stunning. having been asked to run a business, the navy, as -- on the man, equip, train and supply side of the equation it is very disturbing. just looking today, to give you a feel, with the cr that is coming up october 1st through december 8th, the fleet will mitigate approximately $200 million of on m shortfall over the next 69 days, operation and maintenance, a tentative number, still at work but that is where it is coming from. the fleet will minimize the impact by incrementally funding or shortening periods of contracts where possible.
this will cause degradation in the quality of work. the fleet will delay consumables and replacement material, purchasing for ships and this will impact quality, service and operation of the ships. we have to do management of the funds, resources we have, this is not solely a funds issue but you asked about the effects of sequestration. we are living them, they are untenable. >> if i could add to that, the effects of sequestration and continuing resolution makes everything harder, everything. as we face continuing resolution before us in addition to what the secretary said we will be considering deferring or slipping 11 more maintenance availabilities. there are dozens of new projects, things it starts to address, some of these conditions we have got.
over the past nine years, looking over as we review the data, the number of efficient the studies, effectiveness studies, can you do more with us, they all result in constant pressure, rarely result in an increase. having said that, i maintain this is an issue of command, they only give us -- our obligation to operate that ship safely and effectively. that makes it harder, in no way an excuse, what led to these incidents. >> do you have anything, mister pendleton? >> we heard about the impact when we do our work. hard to pin it down exactly. there are examples of maintenance being deterred and furloughs and postpone
deployments and ship fuel problems. it is a cumulative disruption at this point. i think what we judge last year was we are where we are and the department, not just the navy, needs to plan to go forward to articulate what is real and reasonable going forward. >> thank you. i am proud of the confidence in senate approval of the defense authorization act, it is overwhelming and a source of pride to me that all 27 members of this committee agreed on the legislations that was approved overwhelmingly. i have 2 point out there was an effort by an amendment, senator cotten, to rectify this sequestration issue to some degree and i will not name
individuals but it was blocked from even being considered for a vote. that to me is, well, it is disgraceful. >> thank you, mister chairman. you continue to come back to the issue of command, even though we all understand the physical and procedural and resource constraints but the issue of command is played out very practically, that is when a commander says i can't do this because my ship is not ready. you in your capacity indicated you can't provide ships, commanders of individual ships, i can't move because my ship is not ready? >> as i testified before, we
don't meet 50 more of the commanders demand as it is, from a structure standpoint and a combination of that. there have been times i have spoken with my subordinate commanders where there is insufficient time to get a force trained and certified to meet the deployment date, we go back to the commander and say you have to wait. >> with respect to the issue of command, when those tough calls are made by the commanders that does not result in any kind of formal or informal disparagement of the commander? >> give that commander a handshake and a metal, i would do that. this is the type of honesty and transparency we need to run a navy that is safe and effective. >> in this process going forward not only will you be attempting
to analyze the issues, come up with resources, stress the idea of commanders having a responsibility? >> that would be the absolute center of gravity of our efforts. >> there has been some excellent work, they point out the certifications of a significant number of ships are not adequate. can you tell us what that certification means? 's a good indication of the capability of the ship or not? >> this is our indication. it is either a good indication or a meaningless indication. i would like to think those certifications mean something. mister pendleton's report gets to some ratios. i will leave it to him to get to that. i agree with his conclusions over the last two years the number of certifications
particularly in japan, has dropped precipitously and that deserves our fool attention. should have been brought to our attention or urgently before now. >> with respect to deployed forces there seems to be a distinction between deployed forces and stateside forces in terms of lots of things, repairs, refitting, resources, training. that is going to be a focus of you and the secretary about why the disparity? >> it will be a focus of comprehensive review to look at the way we certify readiness, compared to forces in the united states, rotational forces that deploy and come back versus forward deployed forces that remain at a higher state of readiness. >> over the last several years, the navy, not the navy alone but all the services attempted to,
quote, streamline training, make it more effective because of deployment schedules and availability of personnel. do you think that in any way contributed to these accidents that these young people were hustled through, if you will, not without the same opportunities her predecessors had? >> it is too early to say if there was a specific impact, investigations are still in progress but we are looking specifically at that, the climate with respect to the priority of training and certification and does it always get given lower priority to operations to execute the mission and as mister pendleton and the secretary hinted, when maintenance periods run long that further pressurizes our operational time.
is there a pattern to consistently box out training particularly on supplementals? that is a focus of the investigation. >> thank you. >> i chair the readiness subcommittee. on february 8th we had a readiness hearing. admiral moran was at that hearing. keep in mind, that was february 8th. the incidents we were talking about except the one on january 31st, since the hearing we had, the secretary, spencer, at the readiness hearing. as i look at your situation you have been in the job five weeks, six weeks, 200 times what you have gotten into, it is a tough situation and you can try
something new but at this hearing, the -- moran testified the navy would be 40% of its demand for combatant commanders and information that has been going on for a long time. we heard the navy is as small as it has been in 99 years and it has become clear to me the navy's overall readiness has reached its lowest level in many years due to inconsistent, insufficient funding that is not matched demand due to global threat situations. we hear over and over that the navy is taking on more with less. secretary spencer and admiral richardson, the navy is focused on ensuring foreign deployed ships already coming in recent history, what shape with the rest of the fleet be in terms of
readiness? what shape is the non-forward deployed? how would you characterize it? admiral richardson? >> it has been our consistent priority to resource those forces that are going to deploy, that the surge forces, those forces in the continental united states, the next to deploy may be recalled to reinforce the forward deployed forces, those are the one who remain less ready to respond the way they need to. this is where you do a lot of basic training. the one that is unforgivable in these situations is time. you cannot get back in time. the flying hours, you can't catch up, that time is gone, those don't happen in basic
training, very hard to recapture that in terms of developing the level of experience and sophistication. >> you call for a comprehensive review, and operational pause. when did that start? >> the operational pause started immediately after the collision of the john mccain. >> the comprehensive review is still underway, talk about anything -- any observations. >> i directed that operational policy because at that point i needed to elevate this to a navy wide perspective both assurance afloat, took time to stop, take a break and review our fundamentals to ensure we are operating safely and effectively and correct any areas that require immediate attention. in addition, the seventh fleet conducted a standdown to address
seamanship basics. as a result, we made a number of corrections. immediate actions, if you will. all waivers for certification, the certification process, has been elevated to the four star level of pacific fleet commander. we are reviewing every ship, ship by ship, to evaluate material and operational readiness. that is being done both administratively to make sure the certification process is good and with physical visits. we also convinced readiness for c inspection on all those ships to inspect and assess watch standard proficiency and material readiness. >> that part is 80 your comprehensive review. >> i have a list, i could go on and on, we are not waiting for these long-term comprehensive
reviews to complete, taking action now to assure large enough safety -- >> mister pendleton, you are candid, alarming assessment of the situation is not a surprise. as you look over all the forewarned things the chairman said in his opening statement, said we were warned and we were, it does boil down, i could does, to resources. a lot of it you would agree with which i would like to ask you, i have 14 things in a defense authorization bill passed yesterday and assuming we keep these things in there and recognizing we have appropriations and all of that i would like you to look at these 14 things, look at the problems we are trying to address in this particular hearing and give us your evaluation how these 14
things might resolve the problem in the long-term and short-term. >> happy to do that. >> thank you. >> thank you, mister chairman. thank you all for being here today. cybersecurity is a growing concern as we are more reliant on electronic means for communication, storage of data, operation of day to day systems, also navigation and control systems. i understand cyberexperts from the 10 fleet were sent to singapore to investigate electronic data on board the uss john mccain to see if any cyberintrusions had taken place and admiral moran stated last week future accident investigations will include cyberinvestigations to assure there is no tampering. can you tell me, admiral richardson, what are we doing proactively to ensure the security of our navigation systems and our electronic
systems? >> as you said, we did send an investigation team to take a look at that. i got a report, an update this morning, no evidence of any intrusion or tampering. we are continuing to investigate and we have been on a steady path to continue to harden ourselves, to be prepared for operations in combat in the cyberdomain. that starts like everything with people and organizations. we have been steadily bringing in and training cyberexperts, stood up at the 10 fleet as a response to that, we have technical authority in san diego, we have got information warfare type commander just like the other services in virginia.
we believe we are organized properly, those organizations are becoming man's, those billets are being filled, training is being done. we are doing a combination of things. many of these measures require physical standards so our systems are hardened against intrusion and we are putting those in new systems we are bringing on board and we are looking at hardening of those legacy systems to the greatest degree possible. very fast-moving problem, very dynamic problem. i am not saying we are there yet but we are giving at high priority. >> glad to hear that. that is another area where resources are very important. senator mccain talked about problems of sequestration which everyone on this committee knows very well but i wonder if you could talk in detail about the impact of continuing resolutions, budget cycle after
budget cycle and how they affect maintenance and training plans, are forward deployed ships affected more than ship stateside? is there any correlation? >> we will prioritize our resources to those forces that are deployed and will deploy so we will not leave those teams short of resources. having said that, the uncertainty has become certain. we are certain that we are not going to get a budget in the first quarter. >> which is a sad commentary on the budget situation. >> we don't put anything important in the first quarter, we have to compete three of four quarters of the game. in addition to that fact, what happens is you have to double your contract, you have to write a tiny little contract for continuing resolutions and
another one for the rest of the year. nothing new can start so we try not to schedule everything new in the first quarter. the maintenance and training are the hardest, the uncertainty injects itself, things on the bubble, maintenance periods, how many steaming hours are we going to get, how many flying hours, how many dollars per month shortfall, how do i manage that, these effects are continuing. >> can i add to that? one of the things you heard me testify when i was first here, to get our hands on industrial sites, most primary fundamental of that is line of sight to your
resources. as i'm out there, contractors more than willing to work on our behalf, they cannot run their businesses when they don't have line of sight and that is critical. >> that is something i heard from suppliers in new hampshire as well. thank you all. >> admiral richardson, mister pendleton said he doesn't know what caused the accidents, will we have a better idea -- >> crystal clear on that. >> when can we expect this reports? >> the comprehensive review i put 60 day tether on that, 60 days, should complete in late october. strategic review will continue not only 30 days, i want to emphasize aggressive timeline and get these answers now and
get them right. we will evaluate and make sure we are doing an assessment and not just rushing to partial assessment. >> you mentioned leadership particularly at the command level. can you shed any more light on the two officers admired last week, a loss of confidence in their ability to command. are you able to be more specific about those two individuals? >> we would like to come forwards. >> where those two individuals on board either of those ships? >> the commodore and the strike group commander were not on board the ship. >> certainly, the chairman is
correct, witnesses are correct about sequestration, my commendation to senator cotten for trying to solve this issue and i once to be his teammate, way past time we address this issue. we have a modernization issue, more immediate readiness issue. and admiral richardson, we have a requirement for 355 ships. >> studies outside pointed to 350 ships. >> secretary spencer. >> admiral, it is a fact that we
are asking 276 ships to answer the requirement that a minimum of 355 ships. >> this is behind the fact that we can only source 40% of the world demand. >> we are asking fewer ships to do a larger amount of work to the extent we are reducing our fleet size by 20% since 9/11, it is a fact the navy is busier than ever and that has got to affect readiness as well as the longer-term modernization issue. >> we are maintaining the same level of forward present with that 20% smaller fleet that resulted in some exceedingly long deployment length as john
mccain pointed out, sustainable length, our ships have been run hard, spending more time in maintenance, that pressurizes the operational time. i bring it back to the fundamental importance of command to monitor the readiness of your ships, aircraft, submarines, to report on those. >> appreciate your acknowledgment of that. let's talk a little bit about training and toss out the idea of incorporating more virtual training, simulated training for deployed cellulars. are you considering incorporating more possibilities and simulators in regular training to address that issue? >> we have been on that path for some time, both the shore and at
sea to keep our skills where we need to be. we could always do more, and the technology is allowing us to get more and more realistic in the scenario we present to our sailors and adopting that technology. >> what about this issue of sleep deprivation? there have been new york times articles about pervasive sleep deprivation among sailors, particularly officers standing watch. do you think that is likely to be one of the reasons we put down to on this issue? >> we are investigating that specific claim very closely in many parts of the navy, a 24 hour circadian rhythm, watch standing rotation to ensure everybody, circadian rhythm.
surface forces just recently issued while it was recommended before, he said it will be mandatory. >> thank you for your leadership. >> some of our sailors are working 100 hour weeks. >> i will not deny that. sailors are working very hard. we have been doing some work-study, workday studies, particularly the ddg cruisers, destroyers, starting to respond to that. >> if we know someone is working a 100 hour work week i am not sure we need a study. >> you said something
interesting just now, it is the responsibility of the matter to monitor the readiness of their ships, readiness to deploy. if a commander says his or her ship is not ready will that result in not deployment of that ship? >> if we are aware a ship is not certified, it does not deploy. >> you take a commander's assessment, is that how it works in the chain of command? >> his immediate superior in command, there are several layers of people, we don't put it all on the commanding officer of the ship. >> is that what you meant when you said you had to change the culture? your able to meet 40% of the commanders requests so the culture issue is probably everyone once to meet demands for deployment as though the culture needs to be changed, safety first. is that what you meant?
>> we have a can-do culture. that is what we do. nobody wants to raise their hand and say i can't do the mission but it is essential, those are the facts. >> now you institute a can-do safety first culture. >> exactly. >> the optimized fleet response plan, the updated model appears to be falling short. there is no margin for error in extended deployment. the backlog appears to have become the norm and commonplace and it is too really to identify the exact cause of the accident, developing a more flexible realistic plan should increase the ability to train and conduct accidents, admiral richardson, is the navy looking to update the plan, how does the navy intends to address this issue? >> the optimized fleet response
plan by which we maintain and prepare and certify for deployment those forces based in the united states. that is a flexible plan. there have been many times i had discussions with admiral davidson or admiral swift that we needed to accommodate a delay in maintenance and extended training period and if necessary deploy late. you can only compress it so much. >> you are making a distinction for those ships that are where the problem where many concerns arrive with deployed ships. is there a plan that doesn't leave much room for exigencies? >> this is the observation with the gao. the way by which we certify readiness in deployed naval
forces is different, we expect them to maintain a higher level of readiness so they don't get as deep out there, they get more continuous maintenance so they can stay over already but where we run into trouble is the peer amid gets inverted. maintaining safe and effective certification only with those and the maintenance properly done can we expect to deploy effectively and execute the mission. what we are seeing is particularly the deployed force in japan, that became inverted at the expense of -- >> what are you planning to do? >> this is a specific focus of the conference of review to dissect that and make adjustments. >> you noted in your testimony and this may be a question for the record because i'm running out of time, in your testimony
you said the navy is subjected to budget pressures, do more with less, put busy forces on station quickly and more often and schedule pressures to make adjustments for training and maintenance plans, none of these can excuse commanders from doing what they are supposed to do. on the pressures you identified in your testimony, which do you have the most control over? budget pressure? operational pressure? schedule pressure? >> the two we have greater control over, operational and schedule pressure. >> i would be interested to know what you are doing with your control, operational and schedule pressure to address these concerns that have been raised in this hearing. >> yes, ma'am. >> thank you. >> thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony today.
the family members and fellow sailors and men and women who were killed on the fitzgerald and mccain. hard to imagine no matter what your investigations ultimately proved. some part of the fault will not lie with congress and the steady erosion of budgetary support we have provided the united states navy and military. we have heard again complaints about the budget pullback in 2011, the automatic spending cuts regarding sequestration. we had a chance to end those over the last week on the floor of the senate. i offered an amendment, chairman mccain said we a laminated the spending cuts not only on defense and domestic spending. no secret that i many of those domestic programs could tighten their belts but we needed a bipartisan solution. i think every member of the
committee at one point or another to include every democrat, we didn't even have a vote on the amendment. chuck schumer, the democratic leader, wanted more leverage in budget negotiations later this year and the democrats in his caucus went along. so their complaints about sequestration fall somewhat on deaf ears. they will say our amendment didn't address so-called mandatory sequester. let me point out first that didn't affect a single dime of benefits of social security, medicare or veterans benefits and moreover virtually every one of them has voted at least twice to extend the automatic sequester. they did not seem that troubled by it. politics prevailed here. let me turn to the state of your sailor's training. admiral richardson, the gao report, there are indications,
you have sailors who have not achieved mission-critical certifications on things like seamanship, air warfare, ballistic missile defense, intelligence strike warfare, cruise missile technical qualifications, naval surface fire support, surface warfare, undersea warfare, visual search and seizure. without trying to assess whether these failures or lack of certifications were behind the incident with the fitzgerald and mccain, that is something you seek to address rapidly? >> yes, absolutely. >> to help the layman understand, these certifications would be akin in the army or marine corps to qualifications? >> some of them are. two tears to those certifications you just described depending on which one you name, would break into
fundamental navigation safety, how to operate your ship safely at sea, fundamentals if you will and some are much higher and sophisticated requirements. >> the navy is a more deployed force that is always operating even if it is not in an active zone of conflict whereas the army deploys in a place like iraq and afghanistan and camp lejeune and fort campbell. are these things that can occur on board or do they have to be off of the deployment cycle and occur back -- >> they can occur within that, particularly the forward deployed naval forces, in the course of maintaining your self operationally, you have to dedicate the time to do the training and do the certification. >> we have spoken some about discipline, accountability for officers to include some petty officers found at fault. what is the status if any of
awards of metals for those settlers who saved the lives of their fellow sailors? >> i have to get back to you on the specifics but there were heroic acts, i can get that back to you. certainly our intent to recognize heroism. >> i hope so. as you state in your written testimony, the navy does things that are inherently dangerous, i say that of all the armed forces even if they are not involved in combat. great heroism was displayed. one final question for the secretary and chief, studying the causes of these incidents what steps if any has the navy and intelligence community taken for the possibility of deliberate act of a hostile power? >> it is all underway in the reports, what we call the ongoing reports, technical reports that are going on right now. you heard the cn oh speak
admiral ty and her group and the 10th fleet, cyberside are doing their reviews, intelligence is looking at it. >> anything to add? >> no stone unturned, we are looking at everything. >> on behalf of chairman mccain let me recognize senator mccain. >> thank you, mister chair and the witnesses, before we begin on the topic i want to comment on senator cotten's discussion of the amendment, i supported the amendment and voted for it, others in my caucus felt the same way. you have a reason to be concerned, only thing i would add to your concern is there were a lot of amendments, democrats wanted to offer and they were all cut off too. you didn't get a vote, you're not getting a vote, was not because people wanting to avoid the issue, it was wanting to have a robust amendment process. everyone else's amendments were going to get kicked out yours were as well. i regret that it was. let me focus on this topic. i want to acknowledge the sacrifice of the sailors who
lost their lives in these instances. that is why we need answers particularly those families from virginia. timothy eccles, charles findlay, from virginia or stationed in virginia, need to acknowledge them and admiral richardson i talked to you yesterday about the seriousness of the investigations. i was governor of virginia when there was an incident at virginia tech, 32 people were killed by a deranged young guy who killed them. i went to virginia tech after the tragedy, was told by president of the university they reviewed what happened and i said you are not doing that, i will put together a panel and make sure the panel has experts with no connection to virginia tech, no connection with any of those who were injured or wounded and asked him to tell me everything that went wrong and everything we can do to fix it. i was advised by lawyers connected with the state don't do that, it will give people a
roadmap to bring a lawsuit, open up all kinds of pain for the state, i don't care about the lawsuit. people died, the only thing we can do, sadly, is try to learn everything we can, from what caused them to die to reduce the chances of it happening to anybody else. we are going to get every answer and be transparent and public about every answer and fix everything we can and that is what we expect from the two investigations that are being done. we will get every answer, they will be transparent about every answer and work together with you to make sure we fix anything that needs to be done. you have been asked questions about training. i was on a radio program coincidentally, over the course of a five minute interview the host set i got a text from a
sailor saying training on seamanship is last. by the end interview, got five more text things. saying similar things. i think this has been affected by sequester. i want to ask about something else and whether this is part of the scope of the investigation. in 2003 the navy changed the surface warfare officer basic training course, six month classroom instruction, they changed it to a strictly computer-based syllabus. more recently they returned to a class based syllabus that was only a nine week work. is that correct? >> that is correct. in 2003 we stood down the surface warfare officer school at the beginning level and we thought we could achieve the aim and train junior officers with a computer-based approach combined
with on-the-job training and we found that was woefully inadequate and reversed out of that. it was a two step process to come out of it but surface warfare pipeline, do begin with a basic division officer course which is eight weeks long, it stresses fundamentals, spent a tremendous time on seamanship and navigation, lots of simulators and about midway through the division officer tour or between their two junior officer towards, and additional eight weeks advanced training, the junior officer, those are put in place for 2012, second one in 2014. >> i don't want to predetermine the result of the investigation but i want to make sure, the scope of the initial training 6 months to online, the scope of
initial training to be part of the investigation. >> specifically called out, individual training and professional development. >> one last question, a forum used for discussion by surface ship officers, there is a notable blog entry and anonymous resignation letter that came to my attention late last night published in 2008, here is a portion of the letter, they exist everywhere. lessons learned and codification of best practices that led the navy to being focused on the checklist by actual capability. when example, a training group does not care there is not a method to ensure safe navigation. i would like to provide that as an exhibit to my question and
ask if early warnings like this will in fact be part of the scope of the investigation being conducted. >> no stone unturned, we will get every indication we have. >> the benefit of all of this, we have a vote on going and that is why my colleagues have left, they are going to vote and will return. with that let me seize the opportunity for a second round which hopefully will only have one question. i know the navy put together the optimized fleet response plan, the idealized way to inform crews and synchronize training, but when it impacts against the reality of delays in many
different ways, it doesn't seem to work. are you looking in this review at that optimized response plan and how useful it is today or how it might be changed? >> we are but the optimized fleet response plan has been misunderstood to be a rigid, unresponsive thing. it is very fluid, just a process by which we generate forces for deployment. if a maintenance period for a carrier goes long, the rest of the process will be adapted to accommodate that delay. if more training is required, we will adjust. it is not a 1-size-fits-all this is what we do and nothing else, it is a pretty fluid plan that
tries to get maintenance done, early in the process those people we train are the ones we will deploy with and sort of a crawl off run approach to training and that is adaptive under the circumstances on the ground. i just want to make that impression. there is room for stability within the ofr p to accommodate change. >> can i add something, senator reed? >> yes. >> we look at optimized fleet response plan and the navy's plan and everything the admiral said is true, really two things i want to lead with, one, the navy plan for readiness recovery is predicated on the optimized fleet response plan, staying on time, and that is difficult when you have delays or whatever. the forward deployed naval forces in japan, part of the reason we made the recommendation is we didn't see a similar plan for those ships over there. it was not dedicated training
time, the things we thought would be needed to create a sustainable situation. >> if i could, if you look at the plan, there is a dedicated plan, but the gao rightfully looks at execution data and it is hard to determine adherence to that plan because we prioritize getting out and executing the mission. >> thank you. >> thank you for being here today and as well as a number of my colleagues have done i want to express my sincerest condolences to the families of those that lost sailors in these tragic incidents. my thoughts and prayers will be
with you through this difficult time. secretary spencer, admiral richardson and mister pendleton, thank you for being here today. these are difficult topics we are discussing and i hope we can shed some light to get to the bottom of this. i want to follow up about the 100 hours per week as senator mccain asked earlier, the gao report found sailors were working 100 hours per week leaving little time for rest. i know we have had can-do attitude, many operators want to fulfill a mission, it is obvious this is detrimental to our readiness, the ability to not only impact more our recruitment and retention but the safety and well-being of the other sailors.
>> i ask mister pendleton to pile on. no doubt overworking a team particularly over time has a corrosive effect. we actually have specialists in this area at the naval postgraduate school who pointed out in clear terms the need for getting sufficient fleet and a 24 hour rhythm to get the most effectiveness out of that fleet so we go beyond that. there are measurable degradations in your decision-making and performance. we need to make sure we adjust that, service forces recently mandated they do their at the rotations consistent with these principles but to the gao's point we need to make sure our important workload is examined.
we just did this for the destroyers and found there are no extra skills required, the capacity exceeds our at sea model so we are making adjustments. >> thank you, admiral. >> everything the admiral said reflects the situation. one thing i would mention to the committee is under the current criteria the navy uses they expect sailors to work 81 hours, 70 hours on duty, 11 hours for other things. it is a grueling schedule. what has happened is this snuck on them a little bit over time as it takes more work to keep the ship running so they end up with over 15 hours a day on average. i don't have a lot of specific work, i am citing a navy study but folks who worked with me have done dozens of focus groups and i don't think they didn't hear this in any single one.
everyone talks about the impact on them and they wish for a 100 hour week. ..it is pretty tough out there. half, and thatis is the command is responsibility to make sure they are able to react when the time calls for it. commander, running transportation operations, in combat operations, you only require four hours of sleep for our soldiers who are driving trucks. of course, everyone of them will say, i can go 24 hours a day. but we know, as commanders of the you cannot keep pushing these people to the limit and expect them to operate efficiently and safely. >> if i make him a senator, i would be remiss if i did not jump in here and address an and address an issue that when you hear about our studies will be coming back to you all to ask for some relief in certain areas. the secretariat, my office, the cnl and the,.gov the marine
corps are reviewing instructions to make sure that we're focused on readiness and the faculty going forward. those instructions that do not support righ writings and lethay will be questioned and are asked to be reviewed by you all. it's what i call the best intentions of the world are handed down by folks to say can you add this? n can you add this? know what is taking anything out of it. that's what we need to address right now and that's what's going on. >> absolutely. as my adjutant general and i always said, assume prudent risk. that's we want to enable our commanders to do is assume that prudent risk however sometimess it's not prudent and we should reject that. so thank you very much,t gentlemen. thank you. warren: thank you, mr. chairman. i say to our navy, and members of families who lost loved ones, we agree with you and we hope
for explanations to what happened. i know that our leaders feel the same way. admiral richardson, and the last year, the navy has had four incidents resulting in the loss of life and three of them, that ships involved were ported overseas, in fact in port of japan. the navy count ships home ported overseas were found as being in her minute deployment status, resulting in fewer training hours per sailor. in fact, in 2015 at the gao found there were no dedicated training time frames at all for ships hub-ported in japan. with the gaourred check a recommendation and reported that it has developed revised operational schedules. recently as august, two years ofer the report, august 2017, officials told the gao that the revised schedules were "still under review."
admiral richardson, two years is a long now, admiral richardson, two years as a long time. what's the holdup? >> there's no excuse for that. we're investigating how that gap opened up. there's nothing defensible i can say for that. >> okay. i assume will find a way to close this quickly? >> absolutely. let me keep asking about where things have gone wrong. at the time of their respected incidents, did the cruise of thz fitzgerald and the making of up-to-date warfareted warf certifications? >> many of them do not. >> of the three do you know how many at up-to-date certifications? >> i can get you the exact number. there's a number of different certifications and i'll provideh that exact number for thehem. record, but all three of them because it was pervasive in the four deployed -- >> do you know offhand how many overseas home ported fleet, what
percentage of her overseas homee ported fleet currently has expired warfare certifications? >> just about every ship has some element of their server edition expired. that can be managed. it's one thing, and advanced warfare mission, for instance, they just don't assign them to that mission where it becomes troublesome is that it becomesit too many areas and particularly in those areas that are directly related to safe and effective operation, the fundamentalss that's what it becomes of great concern. >> gao reported just last months that 37% of cruisers and destroyers home ported in japan had expired certifications in 2017. does that sound about right? >> i believe it to mr. pendleton but that does sound about right. >> let me just ask, admiral richardson, do believe it's ao e responsible to allow our sailors
to deployed repeatedly on cruises without the training they need to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew? >> what happened in those areast is, the team out there was conscious that these certifications were expiring, and it's a bit like your drivers license expiring. it may not necessarily mean that you don't know how to drive anymore. it's just, they expire. however, we do need to recognize that those certifications mean something. we need to go back and recertify and so what had happened instead is they would do an evaluationon just like i discussed and said okay, well, the certification is expired, we're not going to get time to get on board into the certification for some time.geoa so we will do a discussion or an administrative review to extend that. that was called the risk mitigation plan. that became pretty pervasive.
it was this boiling frog scenario that over time, over the last two years really,ec became acute. so to answer your question, is it a responsible yes, but what do you sense for for how that came about.se >> i appreciate that and what i'm hearing you say is that your conducting a thorough review. this is not going to happen int? the future? >> we will get this right. >> thank you. thanks, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman your first let me begin as many of my colleagues have in offering condolences to the family, friends of those have lost their lives and those who have been injured. it's difficult to put ourselves into your shoes and i just simply offer to you while we can't take away the pain that you feel, we most certainly keep you and your loved ones in ourgh thoughts and in our prayers.
it also means that as of this committee, we feel a realhi responsibility to try to share what happened. not only that, but why. warrink both senator ernst and senator warren aphid on something here which is very important, which is we talk about the manpower and the number of hours that the soldiers have been serving and was not even able to do the h training and so forth. seems to be a consensus growing that we need to have more more resources available to do more training, to do the retraining, to allow these individuals toe operate as close to a peak efficiency as possible. that takes money and it takes resources. my question to begin with would be to mr. pendleton. does the navy have the ability to shift resources, if they were to be available, from programs involving modernization to
readiness? >> that would be tough. there's a lot of funding in the operations can pick that's not my specialty. there's limits on the modernization. i probably should get the outdoor summer to comment on that. >> admiral richardson, would you care to --in >> a program shifted that type would probably require us to come back to congress with an above threshold reprogramming request and i would be adjudicated to make that happen. it's not easy. >> the reason why i ask is it seems to be we are almost, it's almost like squeezing a balloon in some cases. when we start talking about meeting resources even if we could move them we are still talking but the limited resources brought about by sequestration and limited budgets that all of our armedl forces are suffering with right now. if we take a look at the ready beside and the modernization side, with gotchas within the navy itself some of the best examples that we're going to continue to remind you of, are
three nuclear powered sufferings that are sitting at doc as opposed to being in depot because we don't either have the depot space or the dollars in order to ask a get them back up and operational the billions of dollars in assets that are not at the ready and, in fact, are not even died certified. you have over 60% of your eight teams that need minutes or simply not operational at any given time. this is a case of even if we could move resources around with limited resources available throughout the different plans, not for upgrades but just for maintaining the additional equipment, let alone coming back in and trying to find the additional manpower dollar so that we've got individuals who are on deployment that have the time to be trained as well in a perfect operating system. just curious whether or not, i know the chairman has hit upon this, it is sequestration which
is causing a lot of this, but i'd like each of you to please respond if we could, just how much of this problem that we'vea now seen is caused by a failure to properly fund the military in the first place with regards to not only modernization but,wi readiness as well? >> i like to dive in first. i went to carry on your analogy. it's not a balloon, or if it's a balloon it's a balloon that is so pressurized there's the movement. you squeeze it, it pops. that is the extent that i see coming at it from a business point of view. the funding balance to asset allocation is way out of whack. we have to get that back on track. there's other things way to do but if we're addressing the financial resource side right now, there has to be some adjustments because the balloon is at exploding pressure. >> admiral richardson? >> i think the secretary characterized that completely accurately.
there's not a lot of room to a t maneuver. you are really robbing peter to pay paul as you pointed out. when i think of what, i think the navy, the nation needs, its naval power, which is yes readiness, safety, effectiveness, first and foremost. it includes modernization and it includes procurement to make sure we stay relevant in the future. >> you took my ending quote away, admiral. that's exactly what i was seeing this but let me end with this. to the families that are out there, i know our focus right now is on the leadership within the navy and the commanders in the navy and what you want to de about it. this goes deeper than that. this is this is a case with thed states congress has to provide the adequate funding to take care of these young men and women who put themselves in harms way every single day. and we will not forget that. thank you, gentlemen. thank you, sir.witnes >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to our witnesses here
today. [inaudible] >> the master chief petty officer of the navy is here also, chief geodo giordano. thank you for your leadership. thank you for being here. senator peters. >> thank you, mr. chairman. again thank you to our witnesses for testifying on this very important issue. want to add my condolences to all of the families who lost their loved ones in the so very tragic accidents as well. one of the sailors who was from michigan, kenneth aaron smith, our prayers and thoughts are with them, with his family as all of the sailors who lostf their lives. director pendleton, i certainly appreciate your report and your testimony here today. just have kind of aay. straightforward question just to get some clarity as to priorities that we need to be thinking about in terms ofne hopefully avoiding more of thesr incidents in the future. just a question, if you try to
place with either of the gentleman who are sitting next to come the chief of naval operations or the secretary of the navy, in your mind will bean the first steps you would take? >> you know, i think our recommendations layout a pretty good roadmap. we thought about this a lot bact in 2015. specific to forward deployed naval forces. i think you've got to make time for them to drink turkey got to make space in the schedule for them to actually train and get certifications. the second what you think the navy is doing both of these things now, is you need to assess whether or not increasing reliance on overseas-based ships is the best call. that comes across and some of them may be hidden. those who be the two things that i would focus on specific to the navy. >> you mentioned about a plan,n, the redness plan that we need to continue to demand that. would you please elaborate on
those comments? >> so last year in 2016 we looked at the readiness rebuilding plans of all the military services including the navy as well as have the department offenses overseeing it. we can away with the conclusion not to put too fine a point on it but they did have a comprehensive plan for howow they're going to go forward. there was a lot of recognition of the problem, a lot of priority being assigned to it that what we couldn't see was if you put money in how much redness we going to get out? and also there was a question of how you're going to manage the demand. what we suggested hopefully was practical, what are your goals? in some cases the goals were not clear. how much are going to be able to get next year and the after? what's going to cost? how long is going to take him those kind of things. because our concern was we look up in five years and be in the same situation. >> the concern that was expressed by senator ernst and i last year, in fact, we sent a letter to secretary mavis,
concerned with individuals in the navy's dependent on electronic devices for navigation. i know we don't know the reason for these incidents and accidents. sometimes overreliance on electronics can lead to some problems. when you think about the warfare of the future, conflict and space would have gps systems could be compromised, communication systems could be compromise, all sorts of issues. could be related to that. there's a sense we need to make sure we're training our sailors and good old-fashioned seamanship, which means navigating the old-fashioned way with charts and other types of navigational aid to that were done before electronics to make sure that their eyeballs out to sea at all times and not just rely on the electronics. you secretary spencer, admiral, if you could, to how are we ensuring that our sailors continue to have their seamanship abilities and not rely on electronics, particularly miters den is that
ship for certified electronic navigation systems are not even required depth chart on board. is that something we're looking at? >> senator, it's a greattanding. question. i was heartened the other day when i was down at the naval academy and admiral carter did what he should do in his command to put the arm on me to find some more money for the academy but he was talking specifically about the training that goes on with your votes, the white piece, the yard votes with the midshipmen go out and practice shipment ship in the reality along with celestial navigation. we need to fund these things on a continual basis. it's easy to say these are things in the past, why can't we kicked them to the curb but you bring up some very salientnt sae points about what happens when we denied access to certain technologies. that being said i certainly don't want to shortchange the advances that we get from
technology being a pilot we are now bringing ipads into cockpits and away with paper charts. there are risks there but i believe what the faa has even come to the conclusion is that technology benefits outweigh th. risks. >> if i could just pop onto that. it is about reliability. and so if we're going to shift to an electronic system come electronic-based system if you d will, part of that reliability un making sure the operatorsrs understand the underlying principles of that display their givingetting and they're ready o question the validity of that display when things don't look right, to understand weather looks right or not you have to have the fundamental training and relative motion, navigation center. it's extremely important to make sure we've got that in place as the second point out we're doing that at the naval academy. it will be part of a our comprehensive review to make sure we're continue that in our programs.
>> thank you, gentlemen. appreciate it. >> senator tillis. >> thank you, mr. chairman here thank you, gentlemen for being here, and to the family members, friends and fellow sailors, i offer my condolences. admiral richardson, senator cotton mentioned something i think is very important if you said you're going to the investigation to get into the root causes of the incidents we are discussing today. but he made a very important point that i doubt seriously gets covered, and director pendleton, this may be something for use.rector and that's really actions or inaction by congress or some of the root causes to these problems. does it ever really way into the investigations? in other words, you may find out decisions were made that actually led up to the circumstances that happened on that ship but it wasn't necessarily, it could've been something i could've been avoided if funding, if we do our
job right. does that ever went into any of these investigations, or is that something that the gao would ever look at? >> probably not and a micro sense like that. but i will say that i think the way that plays out actually isay in making choices of short-term versus long-term plans. if you look in our statement that we provided for the record we show the navy's plans to build ships kind of goes that way and personal plan goes that way.at that's a straight out your budget projection problem, try and figure out how to squeeze a lot of military into i cannot quite as big as her like a to be. you see happen. on the micrococcus of much its usual hard to assess that out. >> i think what we have to do is maybe take it up a notch andck look at trend. the trends you're talking aboutd in terms of personal and investments and ships and naval
capabilities are direct result of what we either do or do not do up here. sooner or later we got to start demonstrating some of admiral richardson is or should say will get the job done but at some point because that balloon bursts you simply can't get the job done. admiral richardson, i do have some of the questions i like to get to fairly quickly. >> are into the investigation is contrary on what center span of control. we get the resources that you give us and it's oures responsibility and responsibility to québec, take those resources to operate safe and effectively. >> i expected the edge of the at your duty with with the incident but we really have to get congress to be more aware of how our actions or inactions are a root causes some of thesethese l problems. i want to ask some questions, we will submit several probably question for the record in my capacity as the personnel subcommittee chair but i want to go back maybe and ask the question, being a captain or for a cruise or destroy i think is a
relatively complex job. would you agree with that? >> yes, sir. >> i think chairman mccain making his concern was made were getting more breath and not enough depth is where training up men and women to fill these roles. one question i have come if you have the average assignment length for a ceo on each of theh ships to be 1.8 years, and he commanded to be 1 18 months, are we kind of tightening the link the time where giving these people an opportunity to get the depth of experience before you e put in a command role? and do you think that's an okay thing or something we should look at?t? >> we need to make sure we get , adequate seedtime, really time on the ship, operating at all in command but throughout their career so that by the time they get to command that got the experience and training required to have those instincts that will serve and so what in command and so that pipeline is part of this conference of review. to be honest we look at the constantly. it's not like we are waking up
from a long sleep, but we need to get it a fresh look as part of the comprehensive review. >> that he got an expo and co on the same ship and sequential assignments and then you are overlapping some of that, how does that help? >> i'm not sure it does. this is a question that a specific question that have. this xo-co that we put in plan woulwhat make sure we examine it closely. >> what a quick question, and as a set of got a number i'm going to submit for the record, but dt we have a surface warfare committee retention problem? >> there's nothing really has been brought to my attention for the community writ large. the exception would be nuclear trained service officers that committee under particular pressure that we watched very closely. >> it look like the center for naval analysis suggested the demand may be outweighing the supplies such try to get to the
root cause of why that is and whether or not we change it was a part of the my time has expired. we will submit a number of questions for the record. >> could i supply one more answer? senator, addressing a question b about staffing on the bridge, et cetera, and career advancement, one of the things you see, out of my study is exactly that. we're going to look at joint service, we're going to look at any and all aspects of a high level and addresses exactly whae you're talking about. >> senator king. >> thank you, mr. chairman.n. while in no way denigrating all the discussed with had today about staffing and training an adequacy and hours of work i think all those our contributors but i'm surprise, i want to turr to an entirely different an enti subject. every vote in the gulf of maine has writer on that tells us whes there's another boat within a
mile or two miles or five miles long goes off that shows up on your gps. how in the world does a billion-dollar destroyed not know there's a freighter closing in on it? i don't understand how this could possibly happen and i talked to maine lobster men. they are scratching their heads. they can tell when there's a flock of seagulls off their bown >> got the same question. it's very hard to understand with his sophisticate systems on board, these warships that would let a ship getting that close to the point of collision and so that is -- >> not a ship, three of these were -- >> yes, sir. >> can you give me an answer specifically? art their raiders -- >> there are. there's a primary and backupraat radar that should detect those ships. there are systems that can alert you at a particular range, and so we had to find out what happened. a >> is there a black box on the ships like there is on the aircraft so we can determine what the sequence of events was? >> we will get to the sequence
of events, yes, sir. >> don't we have sailors on the bridge with binoculars anymore? >> we require them to look as the lookouts on the bridge. >> the other question is about the radar at the ships that ran into us. is there some technology that they couldn't see as? overusing a stealth technology, anything you can answer in an open setting? >> it wouldn't surprise anybody i think that we design our warships to the lower radarar cross-section. some designed to be very low. so that degree of self makes us -- stealth makes us more effective from the worst fighting standpoint but that also imposes a burden if you will on their crew of that ship to understand that they are low observable and that they may not be as easily seen as something that is of large as a destroyer. have a radar cross-section of ship that is much smaller. >> or if they're not in a conflict situation to a that
some kind of signal. >> there is, there's automatic identification system, ais that the secretary mentioned.d. we had i think i distorted perception of operational security that we kept the system secure, off, on our warships. one of the immediate actions falling these incidents is that particularly and heavilyafficked trafficked areas -- you can look outside and see the ship. it's not an operational security speedy secant report to study in results of investigation into what happened with nonperformance of the radar. >> was the specifics aret forthcoming. >> forthcoming soon? >> as soon as the investigations are complete, yes, sir. >> all right. let me turn from the subject for a moment to maintenance.e. i think the testimony from our friend from the gao was the maintenance capacity is not adequate and, therefore, we have
ships that are important too long and that puts a strain on the ships that are left at sea. is that accurate? >> i think mr. pendleton painted that exact picture. the word to use were viciousd cycle and i would agree that's a good characteristic of that. >> because the ships or expenses as you know, anytime have capital object that that is expensive, you know secretary spencer, you wanted operating. do we need to be talking aboutut increasing the capacity of the maintenance yards to cut down on that time off the ocean, if you will? >> i will go first. i think there's a doubt we could use increase maintenance capacity. right now we are leveraging every ounce of capacity i think across the nation, both publicca and private, to execute the maintenance we need. >> if we are executing and every ounce of capacity and it's not
adequate, sounds to me like we need more -- y >> yes, sir. >> is that in the plant anywhere? is that any submissions of budgetary priorities in the future? >> one of the other reports that mr. pendleton just recently issued them was a report on our shipyards.to sod increase the capacity through modernizing our shipyards, how we work close with the private sector to havee these discussions all the time in terms of how to increase the capacity so it's something that has our attention, yes, sir. >> one final question of the technology.ti i would urge standard practice ought to be for these locational radar, that keep an eye on what's in the vicinity that a, there should be an alarm as ensure there is, and become a should in the captains quarters if anything comes within whatever the set distance is. it's really unacceptable in this day and age with the technology that we have threat something like this happen, regardless of
the wider issues. this is just unacceptable from just a modern seamanship point if you it seems to me. >> i agree with you 100%, andr that's why i'm fighting the tendency to characterize this, certainly there are tearing down forces that are broader peer we discussed many of those today, but this will go to proper operation of your equipment, fundamentals of watch standing, those of the things went to look at. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> on behalf of the chairman murphy recognize senatorly. donnelly. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to join my colleagues and expressing my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the sailors we lost of these incidents. we're grateful for the service, saddened by the loss, extraordinary people. and mr. chairman, thank you for convening this hearing. both are military leadership in congress have roles to play to ensure this doesn't happen
again. admiral, i want to follow up on my collie, senator king picky makes you will get to of events and find out what happened. do you have a timeframe for that? because we saw a number of incidents, and the goal is we want to do it right but the fast we get the facts as to what happened, the better the w opportunity is to not have itt happen again.enator w >> , we are taking sort of a two response on to time skills. we want to get the full investigation done and we're doing that. this fall, timeframe, will get those complete. but we are not waiting for those things to be done to act. there are a number of tactical immediate actions. i mentioned the automatic identification system. we're going to turn that on so a we are much more to other ships. mandating we perform both manual and electronic tracking of all
other vessels that will comees within two and a half miles. we've got mandated commanding officer review and approval of the watch teams that would be doing this. so there's a number of actions. my point being we're doing nowha to enhance the things that senator king and yo you are talg about. >> how many radar systems do you have on at a time?o are the backups? >> for navigation safety, a primary and a backup. there may be a third commercial radar we you sometimes. >> with the work at the time of these incidents on both ships? >> sir, i don't have those details so we will get to that. >> mr. pendleton come in your statement to identify a number m of recommendations from past gao reviews that the navy has not yet implemented. which do you consider the most urgent of those? >> i think with respect to the fore deployed naval forces, i think carving out dedicated training time reforms will be
very important. so that's probably my number one. when you look broader than that and begin urgent, notent, not necessarily since they need to be done today, but the navy needs to determine how mays people it really needs and put on the ships. 100 hour work weeks are not sustainable.ot those to be that you identify for you. longer-term i think the shipyards are going to be a real issue. we just issued a report that was mentioned. there needs the capital investment plan on the shipyards. we're going to run out of dry dock space and is going hard to get out of this vicious cycle. >> secretary spencer, what you look at at the most urgent things to implement right now? >> i concur with training that when i put on my title x hat, we have to get up on infrastructure. if you look at the maintenance cycles that we have here, if i'm not mistaken, mr. pendleton, our bill is 4.6, 4.68 point our secure yards back and she. we're going to have to do
something to move the ball down the road. >> thank you. >> admiral, as has been 1 mentioned, one of the hour work weeks are unsustainable. i know your personal experience from your deployments that you had. what are we doing right now to change that paradigm of 100 hour work weeks and hoping those individuals who are shouldering the burden right now were out and filled in the very best they can to keep our nation safe? >> the surface force and the aviators all have mandatory sleep requirements now in placeu surface force recently made that mandatory for it was recommended before. that will mandate that at sea and those watch rotation so we get sufficient sleep and get out of cycle. the other thing is there is a cultural factor here, where you've got it's just a little bit more, you are more dedicated
if you will if you can go the extra mile and stay awake. that's like pulling an all nighter in college. i have two daughters in college and it's too common there as well, so it's accommodation of education and culture change to make sure the people are seeking this. >> the last thing, as you do these investigations, very often as i know you are aware of, the people who know the best asset to fix it, are the ones were in the front line and you are right there on the ships or in the submarines. i want to know what we're doing to make sure we incorporate their ideas in how we move forward. >> yes, sir. it started with the operational pause, mms of the that i mandated to be small groups, i say it the deck, focus groups i think is the most effective way that i seem to get out of thosee types of concerns. it beats a poll or survey orr anything like that so that would be a fundamental part of our way going forward.
>> thank you. >> senator sullivan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for being here in your testimony. i also want to offer my condolences to the families, and this is just completely unacceptable. no debate about that. i don't think anyone is debating that but when the men and women of our military do what lesson 1% of americans a do in this country, which is raise your right hand to support and defend the constitution and keep uson e safe, we have got to do a better job, all of us, the navy, the marines, the army, the congress. it's unacceptable. so admiral, i want you, i'm having a hard time with this issue of kind of, put us on the
bridge of a modern navy ship and talk about the redundancies, the radar, the gps, the physical watch. i know you are investigating this, but what does it look like? art with the most advanced navy in the history of the world? and how are these kind of redundancies in terms of basicah seamanship and collisions at sea breaking down, in your view? it's not just one sailor on the watch. there's a whole host of other things that would make sure we avoid these kind of collisions. what in york springs, first, what does it look like? then what in your experience do you think is going wrong where there's a series of failures int these collisions, not just one. what does it look like and how can we better understand?? >> my experience is just as you,
these catastrophes really result from the chelation of number of small errors that build up and line up eventually to create a sequence that results in an incident of this magnitude. to put you on the bridge of a modern destroyer, i watch team will be on the order of ten people, about for those of the officers, the officer of the deck, the junior officer of the deck, there will be two lookouts, a quartermaster. so there's plenty of people involved in this seamanship of navigation on the bridge. they are supported by a team in the combat information center which is also looking at electronic displays. they don't have windows but they are backing them up. with respect to the technology that the equipment for all of those critical systems, navigation, steering, propulsi propulsion, we have a primary and a backup system for every one of those. the gps is backed up by navigators.
we have a primary and backup radar for the writers. wiki writers and each has a primary and a backup hydraulic cylinder. r there's a lot of redundancy built into the system because they are so fundamental to safety picks and now you get a sense and he goes back to senator donnelly, and senator king, which is how can all of that breakdown so catastrophically to result in a collision of this magnitude and that's what we have to do the thorough investigation. >> let me ask another question that comes to readiness, comes to training.nd one of the things in a relatively short time here in the senate that i've been concerned that with regard to military readiness is that this committee, this congress, well-intentioned, puts additional training requirementn come additional training requirements, additional things that you need to address because we told you, and to be honest
most of those don't relate to combat readiness. most of them don't relate to basic, whether the surface warfare officer or a marine infantry officer in his duty to close and destroy the enemy of our nation. how much of the training do you believe is being mandated by the congress that takes you away from your basic mos training? and if there issues with that, we would certainly like to know about it. mr. secretary, can you try to address that? >> let me address that for you. >> do you think it is problem? >> it is definitely a problem. not only will you hear from my report group as to any actions that at the center level or need to be adjusted here in this chamber or other chambers, you hear from them. we will address dopma, adjust the anemic, address had joint chief task. we have given this committee and infinite rain literally to
address everything. at the operational level, the secretariat, the cmc are all going through their instructions going what are we focused on? we are focused on readiness and lethality. what do all our instruction support? and can we find instructions are not focusing on those two items, we're going to bring into your attention, if you control the if we have control of them will try to adjust this. it's all the best intentions in the world, training on smoking cessation, to do other such attorney. no one is taking a rock out. it's getting pretty damn heavy. >> i couldn't agree more. i assum assuming you agree witht but i employed to bring those issues back to us. because the toy so many hours in a day.you know the mission of the navy can you know what that mission is and we need to make sure our sailors
are trained in the best way possible.e this rucksack is your time but as a reservist myself, in reserves it's even worse becausi there's less time in thank youen to train. so please bring those back, and again my condolences to the families.on we need to fix this. i know you're committed to doing it. it's going to be all hands on deck effort but we cannot, cannot afford to lose any more of our nation's finest. in training accidents. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank yothank you very much. on behalf of the chairman, senator blumenthal please. >> thank you, senator reid. thank you all for being here today on a very difficultt subject, especially for any of us from connecticut. we lost two brave, courageousti. men, one on the fitzgerald, the other on the mccain. i'd like to pay tribute to the
electronics technician second class dustin, and sonar technician third class, both from connecticut to their families mourn them and all of us in connecticut are struck by the sandis andries of their passing and their courage and joining in devoting their lives to the defense of our nation. so we really owe them an investigation is not only through an conference about also as prompt as possible. i am struck by a number of the questions and answers that have been elicited so far. in dealing with this intensely human tragedy in such an abstract way, which maybe makes
it easier to address. but i think most americans find these crashes incomprehensible. so let me begin by asking you, admiral, is any indication so far that there was equipment. on either the fitzgerald or the mccain? >> with taking a look at all of that, and that will be part of the investigation, investigate and results. be part it's premature to say conclusively whether thatcome u. contributed. it's not only the operating status of the equipment but howt it was operative, was a being. wa operated properly in accordance with the procedures. all of these things will be part of the result of that investigative look. o i do also have two comment on how absolutely human this is to us.w everyone of those sailors is like a son to me.
and the opportunity to be with their families when they see them come back in these coffins, it makes it intensely human. and so we're going to get after this. >> by the way, i did not mean to imply that anybody on this panel, tickle you, admiral, who has devoted your life to the navy and service and sacrifice would feel anything but the most intense pain and grief as a result in having a son who has served in the navy and another in the marine corps, i know that as a dad, i felt proud of the fact that only they were serving but they were surrounded by people who really cared for them and they were the best trained and the most dedicated of any military force in the history of the world and yet human error as you just pointed out even with the best equipment may result in failure to operate
the equipment properly, which comes back to training.to i have been told that since 2006 the navy doubled the number of ships home ported overseas to 2020, odyssey to increase its forward presence and reduce crisis response time. but training was limited on these forward deployed platforms as a result, the number of expired certification increased fivefold from 7% to 37%, between 2015-2017. do those numbers -- are thosebei numbers accurate? >> most of that is coming fromof our work. the increase in overseas-based ships i think went from 20 the
40 which was about 7% of the navy to 14% of the navy. the certification numbers that you described, that is from 2015 january until mid-this year. if you imagine the 11 ships that are based in japan, we look at all the syndication aries, 22 of them. when we look at that in 2015, 2, imagine a bunch of littleeyou ig squares, 7% of those are red. when we came back preparation for this hearing, 37% of them were expired. some of them two years or more. so that was a trend that we alerted the navy to and we put in our updated work. the most part you have a right which is what to make sure the specifics were -- with respect to training, they didn't have dedicated training time. unlike the ships based in the united states. the before ship deployed from the united states it has ayed tr trained up, the folks overseas were pretty much just almost
always deployed. >> in terms of what those numbers mean, 37% of those certifications were expired? >> yes. >> and that means that -- >> every couple of years or less yet to be certified that you can do things, driver ship, everything. and then war for areas as well.s that means they had missed that certification time. >> it doesn't necessarily mean they were not competent toto perform duties that they were doing, but it does reflect onf the qaeda training -- >> and the trend was the concern. >> i would just articulate that if that certification has meaning and we've got to do the damn certification, we can't just walk by it and try to talk to witt out, hey, we are still proficient even though the search expired. that's not an acceptable way too
do business. >> not acceptable i agree. 37% 37% and going from 7% to 37%, just two years is prettypr staggering here thank you. >> senator sullivan wants to have another -- >> two quick ones, mr. chairman. thank you very much. it was really, it was really a follow-up to senator blumenthal question which was a homeport versus the overseas ported versus kind of home ported ship, the statistics that were just read i think were pretty striking. admiral and mr. secretary, i know you will be looking at thed specific of these accidents and what specifically happened, but i think if you could also help address kennedy strategicen elements. is there something that we should be looking at that makes the overseas ported ships that
are based overseas going through different training, different deployment cycles, if you can help address that issue because it does seem like that something that might be an element of this challenge. do you agree with that?? >> yes, senator. two things that are readily, out of this as far as i'm concerned, and mr. pendleton hit on metrics. i am a true believer in metric. >> we have to know what we areli measuring of what we're looking at.ea this is a prime example of can we get ourselves a dashboard that is very easy for quote-unquote management to look at the dashboard and have the appropriate indicators on their at any one time.e. this is what we need to do. we don't need to actually be having our hands and figures into what's going on. we have to have the first indicators on when to react and say, united states in the wrong position, let's address.to if you look at the study that i
have asked to be stood up, we are addressing the overall root causes of what's going on. the cno is look at tactical calls. we'll be looking at root causes. we've asked people from bp north america to join us. they lived for the deepwater horizon tragedy and came of the other said with a very strongatr plan. we called the maritime academytg and said who is your poster child for maritime safety had an issue? they should speak to crowley marine. they had a bit of a rash. they have a great program. he said you're on it. we lifted at the situation so out there. we called the mayo clinic. the mayo clinic has been seven years of studies looking at high pressure team oriented places and what you're looking at were operating rooms where you had professionals, seven different teams of professionals doing among transplant over a seven hour time frame. they degraded whole thing and start over again and said had we build this for optimum outcome?
it came to human behavior aspects associate and cl just can go need a minute can anyone stop i need to stay by something, and that input and control into a situation of pressure edited city that had one but that actually culturally realign how to communicate. these are the kind of insights and people we love working on our level to really see if we can have, we will have planned to do corrective action.la >> thank you. >> if i can pile on. there is a real benefit to having ships for deployed. >> i couldn't agree more. don't get me wrong, i think it's critical with ships for deployed. >> and so for a number of reasons that you are aware of, what we do, need to do when we forward deployed ships, we need to have a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to sustain that forward deployed force from a maintenance, training, infrastructure standpoint, people, the whole thing. >> that's just what i am requesting take look at that issue as well.
thank you, mr. chairman. >> let me just add, admiral, i appreciate everything you are saying, but it doesn't take a study or rand or mail when you're making people were at 100 hours a week, okay? it doesn't take any study. i don't have to ask rand to look at it. i think i know what 100 hours a week does to people over time. and that's been standard procedure for a long time. why not declare a stop or a halt to it right now? right now. they should not be working 100 hours a week. so i appreciate all our plans and all our remedies, but there are some them that are justju common sense that don't require a study. so i think the many women who are serving in the navy would like to see some immediateny won action taken.e seven-month deployments are a long time, up till now there been times where thosese
deployments have been a lotn longer than that. who is looking out for them? who is asking them to stay in? so i appreciate all the studies you've ordered and all the assessment and all that. there are some that all you have to do is use common sense and make some changes. that would obviously relieve some of the strain. when someone is working 100 hours a week over a period of time, they are going to make mistakes.any ma any manager can tell you that. so, mr. secretary, i'm glad you've always planned. i'm glad you're going to make changes.to i'm glad your brand and whoever the hell else that is that a studying it, there are some aspects of what we are subjecting the men and women who are serving, especially in the overseas deployment ports, you
could change, you can make the change tomorrow.ro and what we would like to see is some significant changes, fire a few people, that's fine, but i'm not sure it relieves that individual it is still working 100 hours a week. one of the reasons why that person is working 100 hours a week, obviously is because the enormous burden that it in place on them not only to do their job, but also a lot of additional requirements that every time there's been a problem, well, let's give another lecture, let's have another training session, let's have another test. so again, i appreciate what you were saying. i appreciate what you're doing, but i would would also like to see some immediate common sense actions taken that anybody, any, manager, any later will tell you if you work some in over 100 hours a a week you are not going to get an efficient output.
and there's many other aspects that are worth doing. if you keep deploying ships more than seven months a year, you will not keep good people in the navy.vy you are just not. they prefer a better life. and so, and finally, speak truth to power. one of the reasons why you are having to impose these burdens, and extended deployments and the lack of readiness is because of sequestration. when you don't know from, as you mentioned, when you don't know in september what you're going to be doing in october, that'sri not right and it's not fair. admiral richardson, like to thank you for your very frank and candid comments on that issue before this committee.to l so i would just like to finally say there are additional family
members who are here, and i recognized a group of them at the beginning, but i would also like to thank them again, thosea who were not at the beginning of the hearing. we thank you for your family service and sacrifice. they will always be remembered, and your presence here renews and invigorates this committees commitment to making sure that every single life of every single member of the unitedeginn states navy will be given the utmost protection and the utmost care and concern, and not allow situations to eat all that then make it likely that their lives are in greater danger. i think the witnesses could i ask senator reed if he has any additional comments. >> mr. chairman, i was heavily you in expressing profound condolences to the families and also profound commitment on behalf of the congress, and i
[inaudible conversations] >> the committee will come to order. good morning. recently hurricanes harvey and irma left a path of destruction along the gulf coast of texas, across florida, and throughout the caribbean. homes, businesses and entire communities were destroyed and lives were lost. days after irma, we learned the tragic news that eight seniors, ranging in age from 71 to 99,