NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Navy is looking for feedback from sailors on its issues with surface fleet readiness.
Vice Chair of Naval Operations Admiral Bill Moran met with hundreds of them at Naval Station Norfolk, hoping to address problems they’ve run into following changes made in the aftermath of two deadly ship collisions.
Last summer, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship south of Japan. The incident killed seven crewmembers.
Weeks later, the USS John McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore, killing 10.
Moran says the Navy received more than 100 recommendations on changes that need to be made to prevent the incidents from occurring again.
“This is about communicating what those things are,” Moran said about the all hands call.
He says it’s a top down approach, getting people informed about the changes.
Those recommendations included safety, teambuilding and tools.
They started at the highest priority, such as a reset for certification and putting in a new command structure.
He says they’re also working on communication through better team training and scenarios.
Now, they’re sharing that with sailors elsewhere.
“I don’t think we’ve done a good job. That’s on me for not communicating what’s in play, what’s been accomplished, and what’s yet to be programmed and delivered to the fleet.” He said.
Moran expected more feedback from sailors, who asked questions ranging from ranks to suicide awareness to training.
He believes they didn’t ask many questions regarding changes because they’re focused.
“More sailors are focused on their current job, their next deployment, the training they’re going to get,” he said.
But sailors did ask about changes to the deployment schedule.
10 On Your Side reported this weekend about the USS Harry S. Truman’s return to Naval Station Norfolk just three months after it deployed.
Moran says the crew are on a working port visit and that stops like this will be more common with the Dynamic Force Employment.
He says the usual seven month deployments will be more spontaneous and not all carrier strike groups may return to their home base, like the Truman.
He credits keeping enemies unaware to Navy movements as one of the reasons why.
“We’re going to be more maneuverable, more dynamic, and not know where we’re going,” he said.
Moran plans on visiting other Naval bases across the country and overseas to also get feedback from those sailors.
He says biggest changes, like those in the culture, may take years.