Naval Surface Forces launched a new two-day “Readiness for Sea Assessments” program late in 2017.
The new review comes amid the Navy-wide soul searching prompted by the surface fleet’s fatal disasters at sea in 2017. Crew failures in the most basic areas of seamanship were largely to blame for the four major mishaps in 7th Fleet’s waters that killed 17 sailors total.
In 2018, Navy leaders will be focused on ensuring such mistakes are not repeated.
The new assessment program will start by gauging crew skills for ships stationed in Japan under 7th Fleet, and the Navy hopes to have all crews across the fleet assessed by this summer.
The first of the assessment’s two-day schedule focuses on administrative items like proper manning, qualifications, watch bills, training plans and equipment checks. The second day is conducted at sea and assesses crew proficiency in propulsion and navigation drills, watch team proficiency and other exercises.
“Ships that do not pass the administrative review on Day One will not be allowed to go to sea for the second part of the evaluation,” the Navy said. “The intent is to evaluate the ship’s readiness, and if necessary, develop a remedial plan.”
Navy officials say that deficiencies will be weighed against operational requirements “to make an informed risk decision” about whether a ship can go to sea