Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, commander of Naval Surface Forces, warned Tuesday in one of his last public addresses in his position that the Navy either needs “more ships” or “fewer obligations” to give the service the necessary time to make several key changes.
Rowden addressed growing concerns about maintaining proper equipment and training to effectively conduct operations in a speech at the Surface Navy Association’s annual symposium near Washington, D.C., Military.com reported.
Following two separate ship collisions in the Pacific in 2017 involving the destroyers Fitzgerald and John S. McCain, which resulted in a combined 17 deaths, Rowden said that time is the key resource needed to implement important changes to stop such accidents.
“[Ship crews in the western Pacific need] time. Time to maintain their gear, time to refresh their basic individual and team skills, and time to unwind,” he said. “Time will only come from one of two things, or a combination of them—more ships, and fewer obligations. It is hard to see things any other way.”
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