Navy Asks Hill for $64M for Short-Term Surface Warfare Reforms

Ens. Samantha Rados stands watch as junior officer of the deck in the pilot house of the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109) on June 26, 2018. US Navy Photo NAVAL STATION NORFOLK – The Navy is asking Congress for a $64-million adjustment in its budget to begin work on a series of reforms to the surface force following the fatal collisions of two warships in 2017, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran confirmed to USNI News on Monday.

Two separate reviews following the deaths of 17 sailors from the collisions of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) identified 111 areas the surface navy needed to tackle to shore up readiness and safety standards, Moran told sailors during an all-hands call in Norfolk.

The new ask — part of the Pentagon’s reprogramming request for the fiscal year 2018 budget – gets after the first tranche of fixes the Navy identified in the reports.

The request includes money for new maritime training schoolhouses on the East and West coasts, money for Automatic Identification System laptops, development money for a next-generation surface search radar and the money to reestablish U.S. 2nd Fleet in Norfolk, Va., according to a copy of the plan obtained by USNI News last week.

Moran described the requests as “the highest priority items that we need and that we could do in Fiscal Year ’18. Get that money under contract and start the process.”

The first set of items the Navy will pursue center on basic mariner instruction efforts and improvements in navigation and ship handling that were central to the McCain and Fitzgerald collisions. USS O’Kane (DDG-77), USS Preble (DDG-88), USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110) and USS Sterett (DDG-104) are moored during the harbor phase of the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise on July 4, 2018. US Navy Photo Surface Reform Items in the Pentagon Reprogramming Request:

$16.2 million for additional enlisted pay and benefits to help improve afloat unit manning and training.

$1.3 million for Naval Surface Forces Atlantic to update Automatic Identification System laptops.

$1.8 million for a Naval Sea Systems Command ship control system design review.

$2.3 million to reestablish U.S. 2nd Fleet.

$4 million for improvements in budget and accounting process.

$22.6 million to establish the Mariner Skills Training Program (MSTP) at Newport, RI, Norfolk. Va. and San Diego, Calif.

$0.3 million to expand the use of U.S. Naval Academy Yard Patrol (YP) craft for NRTOC midshipmen in FY 2018. $7.18 million for consultant services to “execute a forward-looking learning culture” in the service and a modernizes the Navy’s Manpower Requirement System. $8.5 million to accelerate fielding of the Next Generation Surface Search Radar. The largest chunk, $22.6 million, is requested to kick off a mariner skills training programs in San Diego, Calif.; Norfolk; and Newport, R.I.; to be overseen by the Surface Warfare Officers School. The money will cover the construction of two new schoolhouses and the curriculum that’s being piloted now.“The simulation environment at Newport is going to […]

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