Navy Times has obtained a copy of the Navy's report on the grounding of the frigate
in February of 2014 while providing security for the winter Olympics (1). Follow the link to read the details. I won't bother repeating them. Suffice it to say that the report is a case study of how not to navigate and what's wrong with the Navy. Taylor
ComNavOps harps on the need for, and lack of, tactical training but an even greater need is basic seamanship training at all levels of the ship's crew. This was a woefully undertrained and ill-prepared crew and command. We might be tempted to dismiss this as a one-time freak occurrence if the exact same thing had not happened to the
Port Royal, an MCM vessel, and others. There is an obvious and systemic lack of fundamental seamanship in the Navy.
The report also highlights equipment failure. ComNavOps has repeatedly pointed out the lack of maintenance that is rampant in the fleet and which the Navy is ignoring. We have a hollow fleet with respect to equipment readiness and yet the Navy continues to procure new ships while allowing the existing ones to rot. For all the lip service that is paid to maintenance, there is no evidence that any progress is being made. We continue to send ships to sea with malfunctioning equipment.
Finally, the report indicates an overdependence on GPS. Again, ComNavOps has repeatedly stated that the Navy must wean itself off its addiction to GPS and routinely train in high jamming, GPS-less, ECM environments.
If we get into a serious war and lose our GPS, the entire fleet will be grounded within a day!
This is what happens when leadership is focused on new construction rather than maintenance, training, and readiness.
(1) Navy Times, "Report: Sloppy navigation caused 2014 frigate grounding", David Larter,