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20 Navy | Summer 2018 MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS ALYSSA WEEKS R oughly a year having passed since 17 Sailors died in separate collision incidents involving the destroyers USS McCain and Fitzgerald, an introspective look into how these inci- dents happened and how future such calamities can be avoided is well under way. Several reviews of readiness and operations, conducted internally, through other government agencies, and with the help of outside experts, have determined that the situations that led to the two collisions and other problematic incidents have origins that emerged the past decade, and as far back as 30 years ago. From an official standpoint, the Navy is confident that these thorough reviews have lain bare as many of the existing shortcomings as possible, and remedial actions are taking place. Still, the pervasive belief is that no quick fixes, or any failure to address all of a litany of problems that have been exposed, will suffice. At the deck-plate level, maintenance has emerged as one of several key issues. e demand for a visible Navy presence both in operations and training exercises has created a climate in which ships simply do not make it to port or dry dock for necessary refitting and repairs, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report to Congress last year. e number of overseas-based ships doubled in the past 12 years, and the operations tempo has soared as well. Meanwhile, maintenance overruns have resulted in 6,603 days in which ships were not available for operations or training, the GAO stated. e mainte- nance issue, plus other factors such as training and budgeting, all were considerably more acute for ships Navy working toward 'predictable model to protect each ship's maintenance and training entitlements' By Nick Adde FINDING BALANCE Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) 2nd Class Kao Saetern does maintenance on an integrated electrical circuit aboard the Arleigh Burke- class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook on March 17. Donald Cook, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its seventh patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

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