Since the report came out about the lapsed certifications among the deployed 7th Fleet ships and crew, I’ve been trying to find out more about the mechanism by which this state of affairs was sanctioned. The mechanism was the “risk assessment and management plan” (RAMP). Apparently, RAMP was used to directly and consciously bypass mandatory Navy training and certifications. Among 7th Fleet deployed destroyers and cruisers, around 40% of crew certifications in damage control, navigation, flight operations, and basic seamanship had lapsed (1)
Despite my efforts, I’ve been unable to find any mention of RAMP as an official Navy program. It appears that it may have been a locally (local to the 7th Fleet) devised and implemented program that lacked official Navy sanction. Whether it was universally know throughout upper Navy leadership and unofficially sanctioned is unknown.
The conclusion from this is obvious. The program has led to disasters, deaths, and horribly damaged ships. Someone must be held responsible and pay the price and, indeed, VAdm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of the 7th Fleet, has been relieved. Of course, the firing may have been largely symbolic since he was due to retire in a few weeks, anyway.
There is another person who must pay the price and that is current CNO Richardson.
If he did not know about an unsanctioned program intended to bypass mandatory Navy readiness certifications for an entire major fleet then he should be fired for incompetence and obliviousness.
If he knew about the program then he should be fired for violating the trust of the country, the Navy, and the sailors serving under him and hazarding the military preparedness and security of the country.
Either way, he has to go.
Get used to it. You’re going to hear me continue to harp on this. CNO Richardson is the Captain of the Navy and the Captain is accountable for everything that happens on his ship – his ship being the entire Navy. I have lost confidence in his ability to command.
Let’s be fair. This didn’t all happen on
’s watch. His
predecessor, Adm. Greenert is at least equally culpable. He should be recalled to active duty and
A Chinese or Russian mole agent could not do more damage to the Navy and our nation’s security than our own Navy leadership is doing.
(1)Defense News website, “US Navy worked around its own standards to keep ships underway: sources”, David B. Larter,