The two Navy destroyers recently involved in collisions in the Pacific, killing 17 sailors, both had long records of failing to fulfill key training requirements, according to the Government Accountability Office. The USS Fitzgerald had expired training certifications for 10 out of 10 key warfare mission areas in June, while the USS John S. McCain had expired certifications in six out of the ten.
John Pendleton, the GAO’s director of defense force structure, testified before Congress that the Navy’s aggressive deployment, particularly in ships based in Japan (including the Fitzgerald and the McCain), gave the Navy a greater presence in the Pacific. “But it came at a cost, including detrimental effects on ship readiness,” he said. “In fact, we were told that the overseas based ships were so busy they had to train on the margins.”
A Navy investigation found the crew of the Fitzgerald, for example, failed to understand or acknowledge that a cargo ship was approaching before the collision. Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/11/politics/navy-ships-training-expired/index.html