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tv   Naval Leadership Scolded Over Warship Collisions  CSPAN  September 19, 2017 9:03pm-11:25pm EDT

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c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. morning, aednesday health care reporter talks about the new senate proposal to repeal and replace the formal care act. then we are live in new jersey as part of our c-span capital --re, and we will speak capitals tour, and we will speak with a former governor about inmates transitioning to life outside prison. towill also stop -- talk senators, talking about reforming forest management. be sure to watch "washington journal" wednesday morning, join the discussion. secretary richard spencer and chief of naval
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operations admiral john richerson testified tuesday about the recent ship incidents that killed 17 sailors the summer in asia. the senate armed services committee heard about the investigations into the accidents involving the uss mccain off of singapore in august and the uss fitzgerald in the sea of japan in june. this hearing is two hours, 15 minutes. >> 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
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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 officer third c lass, parents and brother of a petty officer first class. stepmother of a seaman , father of a petty officer
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first class, and from the mccain, the wife of a petty officer first class and his , along with her wife. officer of a petty first class, mother and brother 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?
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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stronger, more capable team. we are not waiting 60 days or 90 days to make adjustments. will adjust a list of actions being taken immediately to address the issues at hand, ranging from material inspections to the activation of radar identifications in specific areas. we are not lying idle, and i can tell you ladies and gentlemen, we are committed. i appreciate the opportunity to work with you on remedial solutions and to find our way forward. take you, i look forward to your questions. : senator mccain: admiral richardson. >> i also want to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the recent u.s. navy incidents. to begin with, i also want to express my deep condolences to the families of the 17 sailors who served their country with honor and distinction and the lost their lives on the uss fitzgerald and john s mccain. in both of these tragic
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incidents, sailors acted heroically to save their ships as they combated flooding and the lust of critical systems -- the loss of critical systems. to the families that we will learn every thing we cannot these tragic accidents to prevent another accident. many of the family members are here today, as you pointed out, and we will stand with you always. what we do is inherently dangerous. it is leadership's response ability to ensure we provide a right training and oversight to keep our team safe and effective. we are taking immediate corrective actions to make sure we meet the training and material readiness standards to prevent another mishap. we are not stopping with immediate actions. in addition to the investigations into the specific incidents on the fitzgerald and mccain, we are conducting, as the secretary pointed out, a conference of review, which will
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turn over every stone to examine for more systemic problems. this review will consummate the secretaries strategic -- will complement the secretaries of strategic review. i have talked about the triple whammy, high operational tempo, an budget and budget uncertainty. -- in 2015 is25th being used to plug the holes in our budget. now we have prioritized maintenance and readiness dollars, full recovery will not happen overnight. it will take years with stable and adequate resources. make no mistake, while these factors do exert a negative force on the challenges we face, at the core of the issue is leadership, especially command. dollar for dollar, our first molecule of effort, our first team must go to safety. safety is first.
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no matter what the situation, those charged with command must achieve and maintain a standard that ensures their teams are trained and ready to safely and effectively conduct assigned operations. we must remain vigilant to meeting the standard, fighting against every pressure to you wrote it. -- to erode it. our leaders must meet the standard for safe and effective teams. we don't meet the standard, we do not deploying to we do. we must establish a command focuses ont reporting. we must provide our sailors the necessary resources and training to execute their assigned missions. i am accountable for the safe and effective operations of our navy and we will fix this. i own this problem. i am confident our navy will identify the root causes and correct them and we will be better in the end. then, thank you for opportunity to be here and i look forward to your questions.
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senator mccain: mr. pendleton. >> thank you for having me here today to summarize the gao work on navy readiness. i don't know what caused the recent accidents, but as i know from my work, the navy is caught between operational demand and limited supply. i'm skeptical that the navy will be able to make significant readiness gains unless the demands of them are decreased. even with increased funding going forward, my assessment agrees with the navy that it will take several years to rebuild training, manning and maintenance. foundations of readiness have become shaky overtime. our work has revealed significant management issues that the navy must confront. in a 2015 report, we found ships based in japan had such aggressive deployment schedules that they did not have dedicated training periods like ships in the u.s. we were told that oversee ships
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were so busy they had to train on the margins. when i asked what that meant, it was explained that they had to squeeze in training when they could. the assumption i think was that the seventh fleet, because it was perpetually in motion, it was ready. i think the navy has now realized that this conventional wisdom was in fact likely faulty. we recommended to time in 2015 that the navy revise the climate schedules to create dedicated training time, and more broadly, assessed the risk associated with increased reliance on overseas basing of ships. with us, ateed least on paper, but they have taken little action since then. the navy has even more broad management challenges in must address, like ship manning. the navy internal study found sailors were often working over 100 hours a week in 2014, and concluded as was unsustainable
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and potentially contributing to poor safety culture. in brief that the navy assess how much work actually talk -- actually takes to run a ship and use that size of crew. maintenance is also taking longer and costing more. ship deployments have often been extended, which causes ships to have more problems when they are brought in for maintenance. shipyards struggle to keep pace for a number of reasons. over the past three years, the lost operational days that have been crated by maintenance overrun have cost the navy the equivalent of almost three surface ships per year. that strains the remaining fleet, and is an unsustainable, vicious fight go. the navy is not alone in its challenges, that is why the gao recommended the need for the development of a departmentwide readiness rebuilding plan that expressly balances resources with demands and is transparent
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about how long it will take to rebuild readiness and what it will cost. i suggest you continue to insist that the department provided that plan. four years, we have made 14 recommendations to guide the navy and services toward readiness. as the navy and dod developed a roadmap, i hope they consider our recommendations to guide them. take you for having me here today, i'm happy to take any questions you have. senator mccain: thank you, i appreciate your testimony, and more portly, i thank you for the important work you do, which is incredibly important to this committee. secretary spencer and admiral richardson, surface force readiness has to grated over the last 10 years. surface chain of command has become complement it on the waterfront. there is a blurring of lines in authority and accountability.
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the growing backlog of ship repair requirements are large and deep requirements some of it not been id. -- adequately identified resource. the material condition of the surface forces is well below acceptable levels to support reliable, sustained operations at sea and preserve ships to their full service life expectancy. ships home ported overseas have limited training and maintenance, which results in difficulty keeping truth -- keeping crews trained and ships maintain. some have consistently deferred maintenance, resulting in long-term, grated military condition -- long-term, degraded military condition. without a conference of risk assessment for ships ported overseas, it will be the goal for the navy to identify and mitigate risk. i could go on.
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mr. secretary, do you agree that these statements ring true today? >> i do, senator. senator mccain: i agree with you. forcefully, these are findings from the navy and gao reports until 2015. many of the issues we are discussing today has been known to navy leaders for years. how do we explain that admiral? >> senator, there is no explanation to record -- reconcile those two observations. clearly there is so much more to be done, and those observations went to that. i commend the work of mr. pendleton and the gao as well for providing such sound recommendations. there has also been an effort to address those observations.
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we have not been sitting idle. clearly, it has been insufficient to close that readiness and effectiveness gap, but we have been making steady investments to respond to any indications that we have in training and manpower, and in maintenance. committed ton commen closing that gap and reconciling the difference between supply and demand. seco mccain i cannot continue this much further. sen. mccain: your ability to conditions that i cited, which come from the gao and the navy itself. ,hat effect does sequestration
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for example, we are now facing the same collision coming up as of october 1. what affect does sequestration have on effecting these and situations as described by the gao and the navy itself, mr. secretary? spencer: senator, it is an impact on the navy that is running -- stunning. having been asked to come and navy,business, i.e., the as ceo of the navy, the man equipped and trained on the supply-side of the equation, it is very disturbing. just looking today, to give you a feel, senator, with the cr coming up october 1 through december 8, the fleet will
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mitigate approximately $200 shortfall, that is operation and maintenance. is a tentative number still at work, and the fleet will minimize the impact by shortentally funding or funding contracts whenever possible. this will cause a degradation in the quality of work. the fleet will also delay consumables and replacement material for purchasing ships which will impact again, the quality of service and operation of the ships. we have to do management of the funds and resources that we have. this is not solely a funds issue, but you asked about cr and the effects of sequestration -- we are living them and they are untenable. that,, if i could add to the effects of sequestration and continuing resolutions make
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everything herder, everything. as we face continuing resolution before us now, in addition to what the secretary said, we would be considering deferring or slipping 11 more ship maintenance availabilities -- there are dozens of new projects that we will not be able to get started on. years,e past nine looking over, as we review the data, the number of efficiency studies, effectiveness studies, can you do more with less, they all result in a pressure -- it really results in an increase. having said that, sir, i maintain, this is an issue of command. ship, itly give us one is our obligation to operate that ship safely and effectively. all of that makes it harder, it does in no way excuse for our
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performance, which led to these 4 incidents. sen. mccain: mr. pendleton, do you have anything to add? theleton: we hear about budget every time when we do our work. hear about maintenance being deferred, for a lowe's, postponed employment and ship fuel problems, i think it is a cumulative disruption at this point. i think that what we judge that last year, we are where we are. just thetments, not navy, need to plan going forward, in part, to be able to articulate what israel is not real. thank you, i am very proud of the vote of confidence. approval of the defense authorization act, which is overwhelming, and a source of pride to me.
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all 27 members of this committee agreed on the legislation that was just approved, overwhelmingly. i have to point out, there was an effort by an amendment by senator cotton to try to rectify this sequestration issue to some degree, and i will not name individuals, but it was locked from even being considered for a vote. me, is disgraceful. senator reid? sen. reed: thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, you continue to come back to the issue of command, even though we all understand the fiscal and procedural resource constraints that the navy has faced. the issue of command has played , not very practically, that
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is when the commander says, i cannot do this, because my ship is not ready. have you, in your capacity the organization ships,u cannot provide -- i cannot move because my ship is not ready? secretary spencer: as i -- ified before, >> it is a combination of readiness and other factors. there have been times when i spoke to my subordinate commanders whether there was insufficient term to get a force trained and certified to meet unemployment date -- to meet and employment date. >> with respect to the issue of command, when those tough calls are made by the commander, does aat not result in any kind of
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formal or informal disparagement of the commander? >> we give the commander a handshake and a medal, if i could, i would do that. this is exactly the type of honesty and commitment we need to run the navy safely and effectively. >> so not only will you be analyze theto issues or come up with resources, that also continue to reassess the idea of commanders having the responsibility to determine whether the ship is ready? >> that will be the center of our efforts, sir. your colleagues have done some excellent work, and you have pointed out that some of the certifications of some of the numbers -- some of the ships in the pacific are not adequate. can you tell us what the certification means? is it a indication of the capability of the ship or is it not?
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>> of is the indication that we use. it is either a good indication or a meaningless one. mr. pendleton's report, if it gets to some ratios, i will leave it to him to get to that math, i agree with his conclusion. that over the last two years, the number of certifications of our ships, particularly in a, have dropped precipitously. and that deserves our full attention. it should have been brought to our attention more urgently, before now. >> with respect to deployed forces, there seems to be an issue between deployed forces and stateside forces between repairs, refitting, resources, training -- that is going to be a forecast, -- a focus, i presume of you and the secretary? admiral richardson: it certainly
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will be a focus, to the way that we look at certifying readiness, deploying forces, those who remain at a higher state of readiness, and theater. >> over the last several years, the navy, and all other military services have attempted to "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? without the same kind of opportunities that their predecessors might've had to learn their jobs? admiral richardson: senator, it is too early to say. those investigations are still in progress, but we are looking specifically at that.
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what is the climate, with respect to the priority of training and certification, and does it always get given lower priority, the operation, and the need to go out and execute the mission? as mr. pendleton and the secretary have hinted, when maintenance periods run along -- -- it is either a pattern which consistently locks out training, particularly the training of fundamentals. that is certainly a focus of the investigation. >> thank you very much. thank you very much mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, i chair the readiness subcommittee. on february 8, we had a readiness hearing. admiral mourad was at the and keep in mind, that was february, the eighth.
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of the four incidents that we are talking about, all except on the generate 31st, happened since the hearing that onhad -- all except the one january 31 happened since the hearing that we had. admiral, it is a tough, tough situation, and you are the kind of person that can try something new. moran testified that the navy could only need about 40% of its demand. we have heard information to that and we also heard that the navy is the smallest it has been in years. reaching its lowest level in many years, due to inconsistent and insufficient funding that does not match the demand of navy forces due to global threat situations. we hear over and over again,
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that the navy is taking on more with less. secretary spencer and admiral richardson, if the navy that thed on ensuring four deployed ships are ready, and recent history is our example, what shape would the rest of the fleet be in readiness? deployed, is the not how would you characterize that? admiral richardson? admiral richardson: senator, it has been our consistent priority to resource those forces that are four deployed and are going to deploy, that the search thees as we call them, forces here in the continental united states, that maybe next to deport or be called to respond to a crisis or reinforce the already deployed forces --
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they are the ones that remain less ready than we need them to respond in the way that they need to. this is where you do a lot of the basic training. the one thing that is unforgivable in these situations, is time. you just cannot get back the time. the flying hours, you cannot catch up. that time is gone. the steaming hours, all those things that do not have basic training, it is very hard to recapture that, in terms of redeveloping the level of experience and sophistication. >> you called for a comprehensive review and operational pause. when did the operational pause begin? >> it started for the much immediately after the collision of john s mccain. >> i know that the comprehensive review is still underway. can you talk about anything perhaps this operational pause, any observations? >> i did direct the operational
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pause because i wanted to elevate this to a navy-wide perspective. afloat,both ashore and we take time to stop, take a break and review our fundamentals am a to ensure that we were operating safely and correct any areas requiring immediate attention. in addition to the pause, the seventh fleet conducted a standdown to address navigation basics. as a result of that, we have made a number of immediate actions, first of all, all waivers for certification the certification process has been elevated to the four-star level. we are reviewing every single ship, shipped by ship, to evaluate their material and operational readiness. it is being done both administratively, to make sure our certification process is good, and also with physical visit. we have also convinced that
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readiness for c inspection for all of those ships, -- readiness forse is -- the inspection, toea make sure that it is -- you have -- >> we are not waiting for these instructions to complete, we are taking action now to ensure our safety. >> thank you. in pendleton, the alarm those situations is not a surprise, and as you look over all of the forewarned things that the chairman said in his opening statement saying that we it does boil down to, i think it does anyway, to resources. this is what i would like to ask you to do. in the14 things
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authorization bill that was pressed yesterday, assuming we're able to keep this things there, recognizing that we have a conference to go, appropriations and all that -- i would like to have you look at look at thengs problems you are trying to address in this particular hearing. give us your evaluations as to how any of these 14 things might resolve the problem in the long-term and short-term. >> we will be happy to do that. sen. inhofe: thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman, and thank you all for being here today. cyber security, as we all know, is a growing concern as a become more reliant on an electronic means of communication, data storage and operation of day-to-day systems. also for navigation and control systems. i understand that cyber experts from the 10th fleet were sent out to singapore to investigate
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the electronic data on board the uss john mccain to see if any cyber intrusion had taken place. stated last week that future investigations will include cyber investigations to ensure there has been no tampering. this is for you admiral richardson, what are we doing proactively to ensure the security of our navigation systems and our electronic systems? senator,richardson: just as he said, we sent out a team to investigate the uss mccain, and i got an update on the report just this morning. there is still no evidence of any kind of intrusion or tampering yet. we continue to investigate. we, in the navy have been on a steady path to continue to harden ourselves, to really be prepared for operational combat in the cyber domain. it starts first and foremost, like everything, with people and organizations.
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steadily bringing in and training cyber experts into our team. authority, incal san diego, and we have information warfare type commander, just like all of the others services down in hampton roads, virginia. we believe that we were organized properly, those organizations are becoming areed, their structures being manned, training is being done and positions are being filled. during a combination of things that we are doing, many of these measures require physical standards, so that our sins are hardened against intrusion. bringing newnly systems on board, and looking at hardening those legacy systems that we already own to the greatest degree possible. it is a very fast-moving problem, dynamic problem, i am not saying that we are there
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yet, but we are given it a very high priority. sen. shaheen: thank you, i am glad to hear that. , talked about the problems of sequestration which everyone in the community -- the committee knows very well. i wonder if you could talk in detail about the impact of continuing resolutions, >> cycle after budget cycle, and how they affect maintenance and training plans. ships, our ships deployed affected more than ships that are states side? admiral richardson: ma'am, as i --d, we prioritize sort resources for those forces that are deployed. we would not leave those teams short of resources. becomeertainty, it has -- we are certain that we will not get a budget in the first quarter. >> which is a sad commentary on
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the state of affairs. >> that his behaviors to which we have adapted, and we will compete with three quarters of the funding. in addition, you have to double your contracting. you have to write a tiny contract with a continuing resolution and then you have to write another one for the rest of the year. new cannow, nothing start, so we try to schedule nothing new in the first quarter. the maintenance and training, those are the hardest thing. uncertainty injects itself, it is always -- the things on the bubble art maintenance time frames, particularly ship maintenance , 150oads --periods thousand dollars per month shortfall, how do i manage that?
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these are the effects of continuing resolutions. >> senator, can i add to the context, if i may? >> please. >> one of the things you heard me testify, we really have to get our hands on industrial science. the most primary fundamental is the line of sight to your resources. as i am out there speaking to our suppliers and contractors, who are more than willing to work on our behalf, they cannot run their businesses when they do not have line of sight to commitment. that is critical. that is certainly something i have heard from suppliers in new hampshire as well. thank you all. >> admiral richardson, mr. pendleton says he does not know what causes these accidents. after the two reports that we came out, do you think we have a better idea that mr. pendleton? admiral richardson: we will be crystal clear on that sir.
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the comprehensive review, i put a 60 day tentative on that -- >> 60 days from today? >> yes, by mid-october. not only 30lete days after that a review, and i emphasize that that is an aggressive timeline. i want to get the answers now, but i also want to get these answers right. we will make sure we do a complete assessment and not just rush to a partial assessment. >> you mentioned the leadership, particularly at the command level. can you shed any more light on the 2 officers who were fired last week? the navy mentioned a loss of confidence in their ability to command. are you able to be more specific to the committee at this point, about those 2 at individuals? richardson: sir, if i could, i would like to defer --
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were those two individuals with work -- >> were those two individuals on board the ships? admiral richardson: that commodore and the commander were not on the ships. >> certainly, the chairman is correct. and the witnesses are correct, about sequestration. my commendation, to senator cotton for trying to solve this issue, and i went to be his teammate on that. it is way past time that we address this issue. issue, a modernization and a readiness issue. i think they are both tied ,ogether, so let me ask you continuing with you admiral have ason -- we
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requirement for 355 ships in our fleet today, is that correct? admiral richardson: several studies, navy studies and outside navy studies, have wanted to a fleet size of about 355 ships. >> do you support that or do you not, secretary spencer? secretary spencer: yes i do. is a fact that we are now asking 270 ships to answer the requirements of -- that a minimum of 355 ships would take? >> this is the math behind the fact, we can only source about 40% of the world demand right now -- -- >> to the extent that we reduced our fleet size by 20%, since the navyis a fact that
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is busier than ever, and that has to affect readiness as well as the longer-term modernization issues, is that not correct? sir, we areardson: maintaining the same level with a 20% mother fleet which has resulted in some exiting the long deployment length as senator mccain pointed out. we have corrected that down to about seven months as a sustainable length but our ships have been run hard. iny are spending more time maintenance which pressurizes operational time. having said that, i bring it back to the command, monitoring the readiness of your ships, your aircraft, your submarines, and reporting on those -- >> i appreciate that. let us talk a little about training -- let me toss out the idea of incorporating more,
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virtual training, simulator-based training into the curriculum of deployed sailors. are you considering incorporating more of this high-tech, high fidelity and simulators into regular training as a way to address that issue? >> we have been on that path for some time, and it would love to take you around to show you some of the advanced monitors that we use on shore and as see. we can always -- on shore and at sea. the technology is allowing us to become more and more realistic in that the scenarios of that we present to our failures. sen. wicker: what about the issue of sleep deprivation? there was a new york times article about the pervasive sleep deprivation among sailors, particularly young warfare officers standing watch. toyou think that is likely
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be one of the reasons that we eventually get down to in this issue? admiral richardson: we are investigating that specific claim very closely. fleet haveof our already mandated a 24-hour circadian rhythm, watch standing rotation to make sure everyone gets enough sleep. admiral roden from the commanding special forces recently issued, as mandatory, and we are now diving into that deeply. sen. wicker: we await your final information and thank you for your leadership. is it true that some of our sailors are working 100 hour weeks? admiral richardson: sir, i will not deny that. the sailors are working very hard. we have been doing some work study, some workday type studies. cruises,rly in the ddg
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the destroyers, we are starting to respond to that by supplementing the crew. i would like to point out, if we know that someone is working a 100 hour work week, we do not need a study. senator? >> thank you mr. chairman to read you just said something right now, that it is the responsibility of the commander to monitor the readiness of their ships. are you saying that if the ismander says that a ship not ready, will that result in a non-deployment of the ship? admiral richardson: if we are aware that the ship is not certified to deploy, the ship should not do floy -- should not deploy. >> is that how it works from the chain of command. >> there is also the immediate superior in command, there are several layers of people monitoring this.
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we do not put it all on the commanding officer of the ship. >> is that what you meant when you said he would have to change the culture? you are already only able to meet 40% of the combative requirements. so the culture is probably that everyone wants to meet the demands of deployment, so the culture needs to be changed, to safety first, is that what you mean? admiral richardson: we have a culture. nobody wants to raise their hand and say they cannot do the mission, but when those are the facts, -- >> so will you execute a safety first culture? admiral richardson: exactly. you hirono: then maintenance model appears to be falling short, leaving no margin for error and a extended deployment. appear toe backlogs have become the norm and commonplace and while it is too
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early to identify the exact causes of the accident, developing a more flexible and realistic plan should increase ability to train and conduct maintenance and leads to fewer accidents. admiral richardson, you may be looking to update the plan, how does the navy plan to address the issue? to bel richardson: specific, optimizing the plan , is a plan by which we maintain and prepare and certify for deployment the forces raced here in the united date. it is a flexible plan. there have been many times where i have had discussions with admiral davidson and admiral swift that we need to do a delay in maintenance, extending the training timeframe and if necessary, deploying late. >> you can only compress it so much. >> skews me -- excuse me. you are making the distinction that the forp, as far as of
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those ships that are not deployed, many of the concerns arise with already deployed ships. is there another forp plan that does not leave enough from for exigencies? -- the way that we generate readiness for our already deployed forces, is different. we run into trouble when the pyramid gets inverted. the first thing we should be doing is maintaining safe and effective notifications. only with those and with the main is properly done, can we expect to deploy effectively and execute the mission. what we are seeing is a particularly for the deployed forces in japan, the.
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-- that timeframe became inverted and the mission came first. >> what are you planning to do to change that? admiral richardson: this is an absolute specific focus of the review to make adjustments to that. sen. hirono: united in your testimony, and this is the question you can only respond to on the record, and your testimony, you said that the navy is subjected to budget pressures, operational pressures to put busy forces on station, more quickly and more often. and schedule pressures to make adjustment in training. you also noted that none of these excuse the commanders from doing what they are supposed to do. of the three pressures you identified in your testimony, which do you have the most control over? budget pressure, operational pressure or schedule pressure? admiral richardson: i would say that the two that we have more control over our operational and
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scheduled rusher. sen. hirono: i am interested in knowing what you are doing to address these concerns that have been raised in this hearing? admiral richardson: thank you. sen. hirono: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. my deepest condolences go to the family members and the sailors, the men and women killed in both the uss fitzgerald and the uss mccain. it is hard to imagine that what your investigations ultimately prove, that at least some part of the fault will light -- will not light in congress under the steady erosion of budgetary support that we are provided to the united states navy and the military. we heard again this morning, the complaint of the budget, and the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration. we had a perfect chance, to
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finally end those over the last week on the floor of the senate. i offered an amendment, senator mccain said it would have eliminated those automatic spending cuts, don't only on defense but on domestic spending as well. it is no secret that i think many of those domestic programs could tighten their belt a little bit. but i knew that we needed a bipartisan solution. i think i remember of this committee has tried to include a democrat, but we did not even have a vote on the amendment. because chuck schumer, the democratic leader wanted more leverage in urgent negotiations later this year. and the democrats in his caucus went along with him. so, their complaints about sequestration, fall somewhat on a desk years. they will say that our amendment did not address so-called mandatory sequestration. let me point out first, that does not affect a single dime of benefits in social security, veterans or medicare benefits,
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and moreover, virtually everyone of them have voted twice to extend automatic sequestration into the future, when they did not feel troubled by it. politics prevailed here. so, let me turn to the state of your sailors's training. arehe gao reported there indications that you have sailors who have not seen mission-critical certifications ship,ngs like stearman electronic warfare, intelligence ,trike warfare, tactical surface warfare, undersea warfare, search and leisure. without -- search and seizure. -- iut trying to address assume that is something that you seek to address rapidly? admiral richardson: yes sir, absolutely. >> and, to help the layman
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understand, these certifications army or then in the marine corps to basic rifle qualifications, right? admiral richardson: some of them are. to there 2 tiers certifications that you described. some are fundamental ship handling navigation safety, how to operate your ship safely at sea. the fundamentals, if you will. some of them are more higher and and sophisticated requirements. alwaystton: the navy is operational, even though it is not in a zone of conflict. are these certifications things that can a car on board -- can occur on board for only back at their bases? admiral richardson: they can occur in the course of
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maintaining yourself operational. you just have to dedicate the time to do the training and get the team on board to do the certification. sen. cotton: thank you. we have also spoken about discipline, i can ability for officers, to include some petty officers who were found at fault. any, ofthe status, if any potential awards or medals for those dealers who saved the lives of their fellow sailors? admiral richardson: i would have to get back to you on the specifics, but there were certainly heroic acts for those. tois certainly our intent recognize heroism, where it was seen. sen. cotton: i hope so. as you state in your testimony, it is fundamentally dangerous for those in deals ships, even those who are not in conflict in places like afghanistan. certainly, heroism was displayed. in studying the causes of those
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incidents, what steps if any has the navy and the intelligence community taken to rule the possibility that it was an hostage act -- a hostile act power.nemy speak heard the cno earlier, the admiral and her group and the 10th fleet on the cyber side are doing their reviews, cyber intelligence is looking at it. it is all being discussed. >> absolutely, no stone unturned. sen. cotton: thank you. senator mccain, let me recognize the senator. >> thank you. i would like to comment on senator cotton's discussion on his amendment. i support the amendment and others in my office feel the same way. you have reason to be concerned and the only thing i would add to your comes are in is that there were a lot of amendments that were wanted by the
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democrats that were cut off to. not. getting the vote was because of people necessarily wanting to avoid the issue, we were wanting to have a robust amendment process. everyone else's amendment was going to get ticked out, and sadly yours was as well. i regret that it was. let me focus on this topic. i acknowledge the sacrifice of the sailors who lost their lives, this is where we are here and this is why we need answers. particularly those families from virginia. by, timothy at kohl's, those who were stationed in virginia, we have to acknowledge them. i was governor of virginia when there was a horrible violent incident at virginia tech, 30 two people killed by a deranged young man who killed them. tech, the dayinia after the tragedy and was told by the president of the
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university that they would have a panel to review what happened. i said, you are not going to do a panel, i will put together a panel and make sure it has experts who have no connection with virginia tech, no connection with those who are injured or wounded, and ask them to to me everything that went wrong and everything we can do to fix it. i was advised by lawyers connected with the states to say do not do that, it may bring an allsuit, open up kinds of pain for the state and for your campaign. care, people not died and the only thing we could do, sadly, was try to learn everything we can from what caused them to die. so that we can reduce the chances that happens to anyone else. we were going to get every answer and be transparent and public about every answer and fix everything that we can. that is what we expect from the 2 investigations being done. get will be unsparing,
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every answer, transparent about every answer, and we will work together with you to make sure they we fixed everything that needs to be done. even asking questions about training. i was on a radio program this morning coincidentally come in hampton roads. over the course of a five-minute interview, i got a text from a sailor saying, training on seamanship is lax. by the end of the interview, he said, i have gotten five more text basically saying similar things. i think this is been effected certainly by the sequestration. but i would like to ask about something else and see whether it is out of this go but the investigation? admiral richardson: my understanding was that in 2003, the navy change the surface warfare basic training course. was a six-month classroom instruction and they changed it to a strictly computer-based syllabus. more recently, they returned to a class-based syllabus that was
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only a nine week course. is that correct? admiral richardson: senator, that is correct. back in 2003, we stood down our surface warfare officer school at the beginning level, and we thought we could achieve the aim and train surface warfare officers, junior officers with a computer-based approach. combine with on-the-job training. we found that that was woefully inadequate, and out of that we reversed out of it. it was a two-step process to come out of it, and now our junior officers do begin with a basic division officer course which is eight weeks long. ,t stresses fundamentals spending a lot of time on a navigation, lots of simulators as senator wicker pointed out. midway through their division , there is an additional eight weeks more of
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advanced training. still at the basic level, focusing on the junior officer. those have been putting place, starting from 2012, the second one in 2014. >> i do not want to determine the results of the investigation, but i wanted to is the scope of that training, six-month online, eight or nine or 12 weeks, is the scope of initial training going to be part of the investigation being done? admiral richardson: the review will look at initial training and development. sen. kaine: there is a blank form used for discussion often by surface warfare -- surface ship officers, and there was a notable blog entry, a resignation later, anonymously made that came to my attention last night. it was published in november, 2008. here is a portion of it -- the port problem of checking the
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that lessons learned in codification seven best practices has led to the navy being focused on the checklist as to capability. flood training a group -- they do not care if the ship has a method to ensure safe navigation. i would like to provide that as an exhibit to my question. i would like to ask if early warnings like this will in fact be part of the scope of the investigation that is being conducted? admiral richardson: senator, no stone unturned. sen. kaine: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you. >> for the benefit of all of us here, we have a vote on going, which is why my colleagues have left. they are going to vote and will return. let me sees opportunity to begin a second round, which hopefully will have
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only one question. admiral richardson, i know the navy has put together a optimized fleet response plan. an idealized way to schedule shifts and inform cruise and synchronize training -- inform rews and synchronize training. are you looking in this review at the optimization fleet response plan, how useful it is today or how it might be altered or changed? sir, we are. >> the fleet response plan has been misunderstood somehow to be a unresponsive thing. it is actually very fluid. it is just a process by which we generate forces for deployment. long, therier goes rest of the process is adapted
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to accommodate the delay. if more training is required to get through the basic phase, we are just. this is not -- we adjust. this is not a one-size-fits-all, it is a pretty fluid plan. it tries to get the maintenance done, get the manning on board early in the process, so that those people who we train with are those who you deploy with. to thethat is adaptive circumstances on the ground. so i just wanted to try and make that -- there is room for flexibility within the forp to accommodate for the change. >> can i add something? >> yes please. >> we looked at the optimized fleet response plan and the navy is land for readiness, and everything the admiral said is true. readiness the navy
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recovery is predicated on the optimize fleet response plan which is four words for schedule. that is what it is. staying on time. they are able to do that, which is difficult when you have delays or whatever. forces ined naval japan, part of the reason we make that recommendation was that we did not see a similar plan like that for those ships over there. there was no dedicated training time. or not the things that we needed to be created to sustain the situation. >> sir, if i could direct benetton is absolutely right. if you look -- mr. pendleton is absolutely right. there is a plan, but the gao looks at execution data rightly, and it is hard to determine and adherence to the plan because we have to prioritize getting out and executing the mission. what would fall off would be the dedicated training. >> thank you.
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senator ernst, please? sen. ernst: thank you gentlemen for being here today, and thank you senator reed. as my colleagues have done, i express my since condolences to the families of those who lost sailors in these very tragic incidents. my thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you during this difficult time. spencer, admiral richardson and mr. pendleton, thank you for being here today. these are difficult topics we are discussing, and i hope we are able to shed some light on what is going on and truly get to the bottom of this, so that it does not happen again. mr. pendleton, i would like to follow up on their 100 hours per week, as senator mccain had asked earlier. the gao report that fit sailors were working more than 100 hours a week. i know we have the can do attitude. you stated that already, many of
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you, even our operators in the army, want to be at mission, they do not want to say no. but it is obvious, this is detrimental to our readiness. can you talk about how that excessive workload has the ability to not only impact morale, recruitment and retention, but also the safety and well-being of the other sailors on the vessel? admiral richardson: i will start. i may have -- i will let mr. pendleton part on. there was no doubt we are overworking the team, particularly over time, and it has an absolutely corrosive effect. we have a specialist in the area, at the postgraduate school, who pointed out in very clear terms, the need to get sufficient sleep and rest, 24-hour rhythm, to get the most effectiveness out of that leap. there isbeyond that, measurable degradation in a
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decision-making and performance. so we need to make sure that we adjust that. surface forces just recently mandated that they do their at-sea rotations consistent with these rest principles. point, we needs to make sure that our workload is examined. we just did this for the destroyers, we found that while there are no extra skills required, the capacity at times exceeds our manning models, so we are making adjustments. sen. ernst: thank you, admiral. mr. pendleton: everything the admiral said is very honest and reflects the situation. one thing i would mention to the committee, under the current criteria the navy uses, they expect the sailors to work 80 hours a week, 70 hours on a duty and 11 hours on other things. it is a pretty grueling schedule.
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what has happened is that it takes more work to keep the ship running. so they end up with folks working over 15 hours per day on average. i do not have a lot of specifics , i am citing a study. the folks who sit behind we have done hundreds of focus groups, and i do not think they did not hear this. lack of talks about the sleep and the impact on them, and some of them said 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.
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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 you hear the studies, we will be coming back to you all to ask for relief and certain areas. the secretary, my office, the cno and the marine corps are reviewing instructions to make sure we are focused on readiness going forward. those instructions which do not support readiness will be questioned and asked to be reviewed by you all. it is what i call that rucksack issue. the best intentions of the world are handed down by folks who are saying can you at this, but no one is act -- taking anything out of the rucksack. which is what we need to address right now. sen. ernst: absolutely. the general always said, a few
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prudent risk. that is what we want to enable our commanders to do, assume prudent risk. however, at times it is not prudent, and we should reject that. 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
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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 time. what is the hold up here? admiral richardson: there is no excuse for that and we are investigating how the gap opened up their. there is nothing defensively that i can say to that. sen. warren: ok. i assume will find a way to close this? admiral richardson: absolutely. of therren: at the time respective incidents, did the cruise of the fitzgerald, the antietam and the mccain have
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updated warfare certifications? admiral richardson: ma'am, many of them did not. sen. warren: how many of them has certifications out of the three? admiral richardson: i will provide the exact number for the record, but all three of them. it was a pervasive thing, -- >> do you know offhand how many overseas home-ported fleet, what percentage of them currently have expired warfare certifications? admiral richardson: just about every ship has some element of their certification that is expired. that can be managed. warfare an advanced mission for example, where it becomes troublesome, is if it becomes too many areas. particularly in those areas that are directly related to a safe and effective operation and fundamentals. that is what i becomes of great
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concern. the gao reported last month, that 37% of cruisers home-ported in japan had expired certifications, does that sound about right to you? admiral richardson: it sounds about right. sen. warren: let me ask, admiral, do you believe this irresponsible to allow our sailors to deploy repeatedly on cruises without the training they need to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew? admiral richardson: what had happened in those areas, ma'am is that the team out there was conscious that these certifications were expiring. your driversike license expiring, it may not necessarily mean that you do not know how to drive anymore, it's just that means that it expired. need to recognize that those certifications mean something. we need to go back and recertified.
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what had happened instead was that they would do a reevaluation like i discussed, and said, ok, the certification has expired, we have no time to get on board and do the certification for some time, so we will do a discussion area -- a discretionary review to extend that, a risk mitigation plan, and that became pretty pervasive. it was this kind of boiling frog scenario, over the last two years really, it became acute. so, to answer your question, yes it is irresponsible. i just wanted to give you a sense of how that came about. >> i appreciate that. say isam hearing you that conducting a thorough review, this is not going to happen in the future? >> we will get this right. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. ofst, let me begin as many
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my colleagues have, and offering condolences to the family, friends, of those who have lost their lives, and those who have been injured. it is difficult to put ourselves in your shoes, and i simply offer to you that while we cannot take away the pain you feel, we will certainly keep you and her loved ones and our thoughts and in our prayers. it also means that as this committee -- in this committee, we feel a responsibility to try and share what happened. both sen. ernst: senator warren have hit on something here, which is very important. we talk about the manpower and the number of hours these soldiers have been serving and whether they have been able to train and so forth -- there seems to be a consensus growing that we need to have more resources available to do more training, to do the retraining,
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to allow these individuals to operate as close to a peak efficiency as possible. that takes money, and it takes resources. my question to begin with, to mr. pendleton, does the navy have the ability to shift resources, if they were to be available, from programs involving modernization, to readiness? mr. pendleton: that would be taught. there is a lot of responsibility within the operation and maintenance counts, but that is not my specialty. there are limits on the modernization, i should probably get the admiral to comment on that. sen. rounds: that would be fine. admiral? admiral richardson: it would require coming back to congress with the reprogramming request, educated to make that happen. it is not easy. sen. rounds: the reason i ask, it seems to be that we are likes
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using a balloon in some cases. when we talk about moving resources, even if we could move them, we are still talking about limited resources brought about the sequestration and limited budgets, that all of our forces are suffering with right now. if we take a look at them, at the readiness and modernization side, within the navy, we have the best examples that we will continue to remind you of -- three nuclear powered submarines dock ase sitting at opposed to being at depot because we do not have the money required to get them operational. they are not even certified. that needr f-18s maintenance or are not operational at any given time. off, even if we could move around resources, we have limited resources available throughout the different plans.
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but just fors, maintaining the additional equipment, let alone coming back in, and trying to find the additional manpower dollars, so that we have individuals in employment who actually have the time to be trained as well in a perfect operating system. i am curious as to whether or not, i know that the chairman has hit upon this, there is a sequestration causing a lot of this -- i would like each of you to respond, if you could, just how much of this problem that we have now seen, is caused by a failure to properly fund the military in the first place, with regard to not only modernization, but readiness as well? senator, i would like to dive in at first. >> it is a balloon that is so pressurized, there is no movement.
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you squeeze it, and it pops. there has to be some adjustment because it is at explosion pressure. >> there is not a lot of room to maneuver. you are robbing peter to pay paul. the i think of the navy, nation needs its naval power. yes, readiness, safety, effective this. modernization. and it includes procurement to make sure we stay relevant into the future. >> you took my ending quote away. that is how i see it. let me at this, to the families out there the focus is on the
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leadership and commanders of the navy and what they want to do about it. this goes deeper. this is a case where the united states congress has to provide the adequate funding to take care of these young men and women who put themselves in harms way every day and we will not forget that. thank you gentleman. >> thank you, sir. christ thank you to our witnesses here today. -- >> thank you to our witnesses here today. the master chief petty officer of the navy is here also. thank you for your leadership. chairman. >> thank you for testifying on this very important issue. i want to add my condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in these tragic accidents as well. one of those sailors was from michigan. class.nics third
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our thoughts and prayers are with him and with his family as with all of the sailors who risked their lives. secretary pendleton i appreciate your report and your testimony here today. let's get some clarity as to priorities we need to be thinking about in terms of hopefully avoiding more these incidents in the future. just a question. if you traded places with either of the gentleman sitting next to you, and your mind what would be the first steps you would take? >> you know, i think our recommendations lay out a pretty good roadmap. we thought about this a lot in 2015, specifically forward to employment of naval forces. you have to make space in the schedule for training. concerning.
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the second, think the navy is doing both of these things now as you need to assess whether or not increasing reliance on overseas base ships is the best call. that comes at cost and some may be hidden. this would be the two things i would focus on specific to the navy. >> you mentioned an opening testimony about readiness plans that we should continue to demand. please elaborate. then 2016 we looked at plants of all the military services including the navy as well as how they department of defense is overseen. not to put too fine a point on it, they did not have a comprehensive land of going forward. recognition of problem, priority being assigned, but we could not see if you put money and how much readiness you would get out. also there was a question of managing demand. what we suggested was, what are
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your goals? in some cases they were not clear. what is it going to cost? how long is it going to take? our concern was we would look up in five years and be in the same situation. >> the concern expressed by sentor and i last year, we a letter to secretary mavis, concerned with individuals in the navy's dependence on electronic devices for navigation. although we do not know the reason for these incidents and sometimes over reliance on electronics can lead to some problems. when you think about the warfare of the future, conflict in space, gps systems could be compromised. communications busy compromised. issues could be related to that. we need to be training our
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sailors and double fashion seamanship, navigating the old russian way with charts and other -- the old fashioned way with charts and making sure there were eyeballs out at seal the time instead of just relying on electronics. if you could comment on how we are ensuring our sailors continue to have their seamanship ability is not relying on electronics. not eveny now they are required to have charts on board is my understanding. is that something we are looking at? >> i was heartened the other day when i was at the naval academy of general carter did what he should do in his command to put the arm on me to find more money for the academy but he was talking specifically about the training that goes on with the white people. yp's.rk -- with the
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where they actually practice shipment ship along with celestial navigation. salientg up some very points about what happens when we are denied access to certain technologies. not went todo shortchange the advances we get from technology. being a pilot, we are now bringing ipads in the cockpit and doing with paper charts. there are risks there but i believe what the faa has even come to the conclusion of is that technology benefits outweigh the risks. >> if i could pylon, it is about reliability. to anare going to shift electronic system, and electronic-based system if you will, part of that reliability is making sure the operators understand the underlying principles of the display they are getting and they are ready
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to question the validity of that display when things do not look right. to understand whether it looks right or not you have dubbed the fundamental training in motion, navigation, etc. it is important to make sure we have been in place and as the secretary pointed out, we are instilling that at the naval academy. we will make sure we are continuing that in the development of drums. >>, thanknk you -- you gentleman. >> thank you gentleman for being here. to the family members, friends, sailors i offer my condolences. senator cotton mentioned something i think is very important as you are going through the investigation to get to the root cause of the incidents we are discussing today. point ian important doubt gets covered.
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director pendleton, this is directed at you as well. that is action or in action congress that are some of the root cause. does add up her way into the investigation? you may find out decisions were made that led up to the circumstances that happened on that ship but it was not necessarily -- it could of been something that could have been it avoid it if we had done our job right. does that ever way into any of these investigations or is that something the gao whatever look at? >> probably not in the micro-sense like that. i will say i think the way that plays out actually is in making choices of short-term versus long-term plans. if you look at the statement we provided for the record, we and one goes plan that when one goes that way. that is a projection problem.
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you are trying to figure out how into aeze the military cannon. you see the mismatches happen. on the micro, it is hard to set that out. >> i think what we have to do is kick it up a notch and look at the trends. the trends you are looking at in terms of personal and investment and ships and naval capabilities is a direct result of what we do or do not do appearance sooner or later we have to start demonstrating. admiral richardson is always here to say he's going to get the job done but at some point that balloon will burst. admiral richardson, u.s. some other questions. >> sir, our investigations concentrate on what is within our control. we get the resources you give us and it is our responsibility to take those resources and operate effectively.
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>> i expected the answer to be that with the level you are dealing with but we really have to get congress to be more aware of how our actions or inactions are the root cause of some of these albums. through -- these problems. thent to go back and ask question, being a captain for a cruiser destroyer i think is a relatively complex job. would you agree with that, admiral richardson? >> guesser. >> yes, sir. we are not getting as in-depth as we are training up the men and women for these roles. the average assignment length for a coa is 1.8 years and eight commander 18 months, aren't we kind of tightening the length we are giving people?
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do you think that is ok or something we should look at? >> we need to make sure we have adequate the time, time on the ship. not only in command but throughout their career to make sure they have the experience and training they need to have the instincts that will serve them well in command. that pipeline is part of this conference of review. we look at that constantly. it is not like we are waking up from a long sleep. but we need to give it a fresh look as part of the conference of review. >> if you have an excel and a xol on the -- if you have an the same ship with overlapping assignments, how does that help? sure. not this plan will put in place i want to make sure we examine that closely. >> one other quick question.
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as i said, i have a number of will submit for the record but do we have a surface warfare community? >> there is nothing that has been brought to my attention for the community writ large. the exception would be nuclear-train service officers under particular pressure we watch very closely. >> it looks like the sender for navy analysis says the demand maybe outweighing the supply. i will submit a number of questions for the record. >> can i supply one more answer? addressing your question about staffing on the bridge, etc. and , one of thecement things you will see coming out of my study is exactly that. we will look at joint service, any and all aspects at the higher level and that addresses exactly what you are talking about.
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>> thank you mr. chairman. while in no way i am denigrating all of the discussions we had today about staffing and training and adequacy and hours of work on my think all of those are contributors but i am surprised. i want to turn to an entirely different subject. every boat in the gulf of maine has a radar in it that tells us if there is another boat within a mile or two miles or five miles. an alarm goes off and it shows on your gps. how the world is a billion-dollar freighter not know there is a destroyer closing in on it will stop i don't know how this could happen. i spoke with main lobstermen. they are scratching your heads. they can tell when there's a flock of seagulls off their bow. >> i understand. the sophisticated systems, it it is hard to understand we would allow another ship to get into the point of collision. >> not just one chip, three
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ships. -- can you give me an answer specifically. are there radars on these ships that would tell them anything within the range? >> there is a primary radar that should detect those ships. they should alert you at a particular range. we have to find out what happened. >> is there a black box on the ships like aircraft so we can find out the sequence of events? >> we will get to sequence of events, yes. >> don't we have sailors on the bridge with binoculars anymore? >> we have lookouts on the bridge. >> the other question is about the raider of the ships that ran into us. is there some technology that they could not see us? technology? still anything you can answer in an open setting? >> it would not surprise anybody i think that we design our warships to have a lower radar cross section. some are designed to be very low, right?
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so that degree of stealth makes us more effective from a war thating standpoint but also imposes a burden, if you will, on the crew of that shift data -- on the crew that ship to understand they may not be seen by something as large as a destroyer. it will have a radar cross-section of a ship that is much smaller. >> or if they are not in some atd of -- that it will him signal. >> ai up as the secretary mentioned. i think we had a distorted perception of operational security that if we kept that system secure and off in our immediatene of the actions following reasons that its is the particularly in heavily trafficked area, you could look outside and see the ship so it is not an operational security standpoint.
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>> that you cannot report to us today anything about what happened with the non-presence of the radar system or smart cards those are forthcoming. >> forthcoming soon? >> forthcoming as soon as the investigation is complete, serve. subjecte turn from this to maintenance. i think the testimony from our friend from the gal was that the maintenance capacity is not adequate and therefore we have ships that are in port too long and that puts a strain on the ships that are looked at sea. is that accurate? >> i think mr. pendleton painted that. the words he used were "vicious cycle." i would agree with that. >> because the ships are expensive as you now in any time there is a capital loggerhead, you want it to operate. do we need to be talking about increasing the capacity of the maintenance yards to cut down on
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that time off the ocean, if you well? >> i will go first. i think there is no doubt we could use increased maintenance capacity. right now we are leveraging every ounce of capacity i think across the nation, both public and private to execute the maintenance we need. executing onare every ounce of capacity ended is not adequate it sounds me like we need more. >> yes, sir. >> is that in any submissions of budgetary priorities in the future? >> one of the other reports mr. pendleton recently issued was a report on our shipyards and how to increase the capacity through modernizing our shipyards. how we work closely with the private sector to have these discussions all the time in terms of how do we increase that capacity so it is something that has our attention.
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yes, sir. >> one more question. i would urge that standard practice ought to be for these locational radar, that we keep an eye on what is in the vicinity. or should be an alarm which i'm sure there is and it should read in the captain's quarters. if anything comes within whatever the set distance is. it is really unacceptable in this day and age with the technology we have to have something like this happen. regardless of the wider issues. this is just unacceptable from seamanship point of view, it seems to me. >> or i agree with you 100% and that is why i am fighting the tendency to characterize this comment certainly they are tearing down forces that are broader. we discussed many of those today. this will go to proper operation of your equipment, fundamentals of watch. that it what we have to look at. >> on behalf of the chama, i recognize senator donnelly.
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>> thank you. i want to join my colleagues in expressing my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the sailors with lost in these incidents. we are grateful for the service, saddened by the loss, extraordinary people. mr. chairman, thank you for convening this hearing. but the military leadership and congress several stew play to ensure this does not happen again. admiral, want to follow-up on my colleagues senator king's questions. you mentioned we will get to the sequence of events and find out what will happen. do you have a timeframe for that because we saw a number of incidents and the goalless -- we want the goal is we want to do it right but the faster we get the facts the better the opportunity to have it not happen again. a senator we are taking response along to timescales of you will, sir.
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we want to get the full investigation done with alacrity. we are doing that. this fall, timeframe we will get complete. 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 will turn that on so we are much more visible to other shifts. mandating where perform both manual and electronic tracking of all other vessels that will come within 2.5 miles. we have mandated commanding officer review and approval of a watch team. there are a number of actions. my point being we are doing it now to enhance the thing that senator kane and you work talking about. >> how many raters to have on either a time? are there backups? >> navigation safety, two systems. primary and backup. there may be a third commercial radar we use sometimes. >> where they working at the
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time of the incidents on both ships?'s rights, sir i do not have those details but we will get to that. you mention aon, number of recommendations the navy has not yet implemented. which do you consider the most urgent of those? thanks i think with respect to the ordinary forces, think carving out dedicated training time is very important. that is probably my number one. when you look broader than that and give an urgent, not necessarily needs to be done today but the navy needs to determine how many people it really needs and put on the sheep's because 100-hour work weeks are not sustainable. identify. be the to longer-term, think the shipyards are a real issue. we just set a report mentioned. there needs to be a capital investment plan on shipyards. we are going to run out of drydock space.
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what do you look at as the most areas things to implement now? >> i concur with training but when when i put on my title x hat, we have to gear up on infrastructure if we look at the maintenance cycles we have here. if i am not mistaken, mr. pendleton our bill is four point eight 6 billion dollars to get our yards back in shape. we have to do something to move that bald on the road. >> thank you. admiral, 100-workweeks are unsustainable. i know you have personal experience from your deployments. what are we doing right now to change that, to change that paradigm of 100-hour work weeks? in helping those individuals who are shouldering that burden right now are out in the field doing the very, very best they can to keep our nation safe. >> we have mandatory sleep
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requirements now in place. the service force just made that mandatory. it was recommended before. watchill mandate those rotations that we get sufficient sleep and get out of this cycle. the other thing is there is a cultural factor here. where, you know, it is just a little bit more, you know, you are more dedicated if you will. you can go the extra mile and stay awake and is like pulling an all-nighter in college. i have two daughters in college and you know they -- it is too common there as well. and so it is a combination of education and culture change to make sure that people are -- >> the last thing i went to ask is as you do these investigations, very often as i know you are aware of, people who know the best as to how to fix it are the ones who are on the front lines right there on submarines.d
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i want to know what we are doing to make sure we incorporate their ideas and how we move forward. >> yes, sir. it started with the operational clause. i mandated those be small focus groups of sailors on the deck. the most effective way i've seen to get after those types of concerns. it beats a pull her survey or anything like that so that will be a fundamental part of going forward. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. senator kaine and senator sullivan, please. >> thank you gentleman. i want to offer my condolences to the families. and, you know, this is just completely unacceptable. eriod. no debate about that. i do not think anyone is debating that. 1% ofen they do less than
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what americans in this country do which is raised their right hand to defend and support the constitution and keep it safe, we have to do a better job. all of us, the navy, the marines come the army, the congress. it is unacceptable. >> so, admiral, i want you to -- i am having a hard time with the --this -- issue of kind of put us on the bridge of a modern about theand talk redundancies, the radar, the gps, the physical watch. what -- i mean, i know you are investigating this -- but what does that look like? aren't we the most advanced navy in the history of the world? and, how are these kind of redundancies in terms of basic seamanship and collisions at sea breaking down in your view? in it is not just one, you know, sailor on the watch.
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there is a whole host of other things that would make sure we avoid these kind of collisions. what in your experience, first, what does that look like and then what in your experience do you think is going wrong where obviously there is a series of failures here. in these collisions. not just one. and hows that look like can we better understand it? is like yours.e these catastrophes result from the accumulation of a number of small errors that build up and line up to create a sequence that results in a incident of this magnitude. to put you on the bridge of a modern destroyer, a watch team would be on the order of 10 people. about four of those would be offices. the junior officer of the deck, the officer of the deck, and two lookouts, a quartermaster. there is plenty of people involved in this seamanship and navigation on the bridge. they are supported by a team at the combat information center
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which is also looking at electronic display. they do not have windows but they're backing them up. technology, the equipment for all of those critical systems, navigation, staring, propulsion, we have a primary and a backup system for every one of those. so gps is backed up by inertial navigators. we have primary backup radar for the writers. we have two routers. each has a primary and secondary backup cylinders so there is a lot of redundancy built into the systems because they are so fundamental to safety. so, now you get a sense that goes back to senator donnelly's question and senator king's point which is how could all of that breakdown so catastrophically to result in a collision of this magnitude and that is why we have to do the thorough investigation. >> let me ask another question
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when it comes to readiness and it comes to training. one of the things in my relatively short time here in the senate that i have been concerned about with regard to military readiness is that this committee, this committee, well-attention, puts additional training requirements, digital training requirements, additional things that you need to address. because we told him. to be honest, most of them don't relate to combat readiness. most of them don't relate to marineos whether it is a officer or an infantry officer in his duty to his dread the enemy of our nation. how much of your training do you believe is being mandated by the congress that takes you away from your basic mos training and if there are issues with that, we would certainly like to know about it. mr. secretary, can you address that? >> senator, let me address that for you.
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christ you think it is a problem? wrecks definitely it is a problem. not only -- do you think it is a problem? >> definitely i think it is a problem. address how to joint chiefs task. we have given this committee and infinite rain to address everything. at an operation level, the opnav are the cnc, all going through readiness and what do well in power and structure and support? if we find instructions that are not focusing on those two items we will bring them to your attention. if we have control of them we will try to adjust this. the rucksack issue. all of the best intentions in the world. cessation.
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no one is taking the rock out and the rucksack is getting pretty dam heavy. >> i implore you to bring those issues back to us because there are only so many hours in the navy,d the mission of the you know what that mission is and we need to make sure our sailors are trained in the best way possible. this rucksack issue you are talking about -- as a reservist myself, in the reserves it is even worse because there is less time in a year to train. so, please bring those back and to themy condolences families here. we need to fix this and i know you're committed to doing it, it is going to be an all hands on deck effort but we cannot, cannot afford to lose any more of our nation's finest.
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>> thank you mr. chairman. >> on behalf of the chairman, senator blumenthal please. rep. blum: at the -- lost toblumenthal: we brave courageous men from connecticut. one of the fitzgerald, the other on the mccain. toould like to pay tribute the electronic technician second class and senior technician or class both from connecticut. their families mourn him and all of a sudden connecticut are struck by the sadness and grief of their passing. andtheir courage in joining devoting their lives to the defense of our nation. so we really know them an
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investigation that is not only thorough and comprehensive but also is prompted possible. -- it has prompted as possible. i am struck by the questions and answers elicited so far. this intensely human tragedy in such an abstract way, which maybe makes but i think address most americans find these crashes incomprehensible. begin by asking you, admiral, is there any indications of fire that there far-- any indication so that there was an equipment failure on the fitzgerald or the mccain? >> we're looking at that and it will be part of the investigative results when they
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come up. it is premature to say conclusively. it is not only the operating status of the grandma but how it was operated. was it being operated properly in accordance with the procedures? you know, all of these things will be part of the investigation. on, i also have to comment how absolutely human this is to us. every one 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 makes it intensely human and so we are going to get after this. >> by the way, i did not mean to imply that anybody on this panel, particularly you admiral, who has devoted your life do the navy and service and sacrifice would feel anything but the most intense pain and grief as a result in having a son who is served in the navy in the marine
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irps i know that as a dad, felt proud of the fact not only that 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 error, asyet, human you just pointed out, even with the best equipment, may result in failure to operate the equipment properly which comes back to training. since been told that 2006, the navy doubled the number of ships home-ported overseas to 20 obviously to andease its response time training was eliminated on these forward-deployed and as a result, the number of expired
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certifications increased five-fold from 7% to 37% between 2017.nd are those numbers i read? i do not know whether they have been raised here before. >> yeah, most of that is coming from our work. overseas-based ships i think went from 20-40. 14% of the navy. the certification numbers that you describe, that is from 2015 january-mid-this year. ships acedine the 11 in japan, we looked at all of the certification areas, 22 of them. when we look to that in 2015, you imagine a bunch of little squares, 7% of those were red. when we came back in preparation for this hearing, 37% of them
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were expired, some of them two years or more. that is a trend we alerted the navy to. thented to make sure specifics -- >> with respected training, what we said was they did not have dedicated training. like the ships based back in the united states. before they are deployed there is a training time, the folks overseas were pretty much almost always deployed. in terms of what those numbers mean, 37% of those certifications were expired and that means -- >> go head, sorry. >> every couple years or less, you have to be certified that you can do things. drive a ship, warfare areas as well. that means they had missed that certification time. it does not necessarily mean that they were not come to perform duties that they were doing but it does reflect on the
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kind of training. >> and, the trend was the concern is the admiral has mentioned as well. >> i would just articulate that the best certification has meaning and we have to do this. andannot just walk by it try to talk our way out of and say we are still proficient even though the certification is expired. that is just not an acceptable way to do business. >> not acceptable i agree, 37% from 7% in just two years as pretty staggering. >> grecians. gracious -- egregious. a follow-up to senator blumenthal's question which was homeport versus -- >> i have a follow-up to senator blumenthal's question which was theport versus --
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statistics i just read i think were pretty striking. admiral on mr. secretary i know you are at the specifics of and whatidents specifically happened but i think if you could also help address kind of the strategic elements. is there something that we should be looking at that makes ported ships that are based overseas going through different training, different deployment cycles if you can help address that issue because it does seem that is something of thisht be an element challenge. do you agree with the? >> yes, senator. two things that have come out of this as far as i am concerned and mr. pendleton head-on metrics. true believer in metrics. we have to know what we are looking at and measuring. this is a prime example of, can
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we get ourselves a dashboard that is very easy for " to look at and have the appropriate indicators that any one time. that is what we need to do. we don't need to actually have our hands and fingers in what is going on but we need to have the first indicators to say, we are trending in the wrong direction let's adjust. addressing the overall root causes of what is going on. tacticals looking at causes. we will be looking at root causes. we've asked people from bp to join us. they lived through deepwater horizon and came through on the other side with a very strong plan. we've called the maritime academy and ask, who is your poster child. they said speak to crowley marine. call tom crowley. he said, we are on it.
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we looked at other situations. we called the mail planet. -- the mayo clin they were looking at professionals doingic. lung transplants over seven-hour times. behavior aspects such as the anesthesiologist can go, give me a minute. i need to stabilize. having input and control into a situation of pressure and intensity that had one leader but they had to actually culturally realign how they communicate. these are the kind of insights and people will have working on our level to really see if we to have, we will have a plan do corrective action. >> thank you. >> there is a real benefit in having our ships forward-you click. >> i could not agree more.
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don't get me wrong. i think it is critical. >> for a number of reasons that you were aware of. is we needeed to do to have a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to sustain that her word-deployed force from maintenance, training, infrastructure, people. the whole thing. asplease look at that issue well. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> let me add i appreciate everything you are saying but it does not take a study when you are making people work $100 a week, ok? it doesn't take any study. i do not have to ask brand to look at it -- i do not have to to look at it. i know what 100 hours a week does to people. why not declare a halt to it? right now. right now.
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they should not be working 100 hours a week. i appreciate all of our plans and remedies but some are just common sense that do not require ace that he. study. i think there are many women who would like to see immediate action taken. seven-month deployments are a long time. up until now there have been times when those deployments have been a lot longer than that. who was looking out for them? who is asking them to state in? so, i appreciate all of the studies you have ordered and all of the assessments and all of that but there are some that all you have to do is use common sense and make some changes. leave someobviously of the strain. 100 hoursy is working a week, they are going to make mistakes.
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any manager can tell you that. i am glad youary, have all of these plans. i am glad you are going to make changes. i am glad you have got rand and whomever the hell else is studying it. the men and women serving, especially in the overseas deployment ports, you could make the change tomorrow. what we would like to see is some significant changes. fire a few people. that is fine. relievesot sure that the individual who was still working $100 weekend one of the reasons that person is working 100 hours a week obviously is because of the enormous burden that has been placed on them not aly to do their job but also lot of additional requirements that every time there's been a problem, well, let's give another lecture. let's have another training session.
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let's have another test. so, again, i appreciate what you are saying. i appreciate what you are doing. but i would also like to see some immediate common sense actions taken that anybody with any manager, any leader will tell you that if you work somebody over 100 hours per week you are not going to get an efficient output. yet, there is many other aspects of that. if you deploy, if you keep deploying ships, more than seven months a year, you're not going to keep good people in the navy. you are just not. they prefer a better life. 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 do not know in
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september what you are going to be doing in october, that is not right and it is not fair. so, admiral richardson i would like to thank you for your very frank and candid comments on that issue before this committee. 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, those who were not here at the beginning of the hearing. we thank you for your families 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 united states navy will begin in the
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mostprotection and the act care and concern in his allow situations to evolve the then make it likely that their lives are in greater danger. i think the witnesses. i asked senator reid if he has any additional comments. >> i would simply join you in expressing profound condolences to the families and also a profound commitment on behalf of the congress and i know the o to make into the cn the commitment to protect the men and women who wear the uniform of the united states. >> thank you mr. chairman.
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