WASHINGTON - Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee made the following statement on the Navy’s investigation into several collisions that took place in the Pacific over the course of the last year. Thornberry’s comments follow a briefing he received from Admiral John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations.
“I am disturbed by the systemic problems the Navy has uncovered in their investigation of these tragic and fatal accidents. These deaths were entirely avoidable had Pentagon leadership in recent years heeded the warning signs in time, taken the appropriate actions, and been honest with themselves and the country about the readiness challenges they face. Those challenges reinforce long-standing Committee concerns and in this case result from asking our fleet to do too much with too few resources- forcing the Navy to take shortcuts in training and maintenance in order to maximize operational time. The Navy is committed to addressing these issues, but they cannot fix them on their own. Congress has a role to play as well. I am ready to support the Navy’s request for any additional training, manpower, or equipment they need to prevent these tragedies in the future.”