Rumor control with OS2 Larter

Defense News' David Larter takes on some of the rumors surrounding the collision involving the USS John S. McCain.

WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Navy’s top uniformed officer wants to bring in industry experts to help the service understand why it has suffered two serious crashes in the Pacific theater in the last three months.

Speaking to reporters Monday afternoon, Adm. John Richardson, the chief naval officer, said that he expects to bring in leaders from industry as part of a broader review on what might have led to Sunday’s crash between the destroyer John S. McCain and the Liberian-flagged merchant vessel Alnic MC.

Ten U.S. personnel are missing following the crash, with five injured. On June 27, seven U.S. personnel were killed when the destroyer Fitzgerald was rammed by another commercial vessel.

As a result of the two incidents, Richardson wants a broader view of the Navy’s capabilities and training in the wake of the collisions, and to do so he will look both inside and outside the service.

“We want to go outside the Navy as well, to other services and even outside the military to make sure we are being as broad as possible. So I would envision bringing in some industry experts, those sorts of things that can help us work through this,” he said.

Asked what industry could specifically provide to such a review, Richardson noted there may be different ways to use naval capabilities.

“We’re always operating systems, right? And those systems are provided by our industrial partners,” Richardson said. “So, we want to make sure we’re looking as compressively as possible in terms of optimizing or improving the way we use those systems.”

The McCain suffered heavy flooding in two crew berthings and in a space known as ”shaft alley,” through which runs the shafts that connect to the engines to turn the ship’s propellers, according to an early internal report reviewed by Defense News’ sister publication, Navy Times.