September 19, 2017

Hirono Continues Oversight of Naval Collision Investigations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono questioned top Navy officials about the factors that contributed to recent collisions and serious incidents involving ships in the Seventh Fleet. In 2017, four Navy ships were involved in incidents, including two major collisions, resulting in the tragic loss of life of 17 service members.

“While we still haven’t received the final reports into what caused these tragic incidents, it’s clear that prioritizing deployment over safety and training played a role,” said Senator Hirono, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee. “There is no excuse for neglecting readiness, training, and the safety of our service members, and we will continue our oversight role as the Navy moves forward to take action to prevent these tragedies from happening again.”

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this morning, Senator Hirono questioned Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, and Government Accountability Office Director John Pendleton. Senator Hirono also asked how an optimized fleet response plan for forward deployed ships could help to improve schedule certainty and increase the fleet’s ability to train and maintain ships in order to prevent these types of accidents. 

Hirono Continues Oversight of Naval Collision Investigations