The Navy has released (pried loose with a Freedom of Information Act request) its Command Investigation report on the
Antietam grounding incident of 31-Jan-2017.
I debated whether to even comment on this because it feels a lot like beating a dead horse. The Navy’s conclusion was that the grounding was due to general incompetence resulting from poor training and poor command behavior which is what I’ve been saying since I began publishing this blog. How many more times and how many different ways can this be said before it becomes just background noise? Well, in the end, I think it deserves attention.
To refresh your memory, the
Antietam grounded during a failed anchoring attempt. You can read the brief report for yourself
through the link below.
The essence of the report is that absolutely no one involved in the entire evolution, from deck crew to CIC to bridge to the Commanding Officer did their job properly. I’m not going to bother listing the specific failings. They all fall under the heading of a lackadaisical crew that was improperly trained and led.
What I want to note from all this is the observation that if our Navy is not sufficiently well trained and led to execute a simple, basic act of seamanship like anchoring, what’s the odds that we’re combat proficient and ready to fight? Yeah, zero.
We need to dump the entire officer corps, from the CNO on down, and start over. They clearly aren’t doing their jobs. Don’t anyone try to dismiss this as a one-off incident. In recent times, we’ve had two Aegis cruiser groundings, an Avenger grounding, three collisions, and two captured riverine boats. This is a systemic collapse of training and leadership. If CNO Richardson had an ounce of integrity, he’d resign in humiliation.
I fully expect the recent collision reports to read much the same as this one when they come out.
What will take before Congress and SecNav realize that the Navy has a leadership crisis and cleans house?