Following this year’s spate of incidents involving US Navy ships forward-deployed to Japan, Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander of Naval Surface Forces ordered Ready For Sea Assessments (RFSA) for all surface warships.
Surface combatants forward deployed to Japan are being assessed first through a review of critical mission areas for each ship.
The RFSAs began last month with a focus on evaluating the foundational skills necessary to operate surface warships safely, as well as assess the critical mission areas of navigation, propulsion, steering, communications and damage control. The intent is to evaluate the ship’s readiness, and if necessary, develop a remedial plan to fix any gaps.
Seven ships have already completed RFSA, and two other forward deployed ships are currently undergoing assessment. The initial focus is on the cruisers and destroyers forward deployed to Japan and then expanding to other ships operating in the Western Pacific, followed by the rest of the force.
“I have absolute confidence that our crews are working very hard to care for their ships and to meet operational requirements. These assessments are about taking an honest, hard look at how we do business and adjusting, as required, to remain the world’s preeminent naval force, uniquely capable of operating in the waters of the world’s oceans,” said Rowden.
“Every day, we owe it to our sailors and their families to explore opportunities to mitigate risk where we can – from immediate daily fundamentals to instituting complex organizational change,” said Rowden.
Assessments will be conducted over a period of two days. The first day will be conducted in port and focus on administrative items, including proper manning, qualifications, watchbills, training plans, and equipment checks. The second day consists of an at-sea assessment on propulsion and navigations drills, watchteam proficiency, and other critical at-sea evolutions. Ships that do not pass the administrative review on day one will not be allowed to go to sea for the second part of the evaluation.
The assessments aim to accurately determine the readiness of each ship and deliver improved confidence in the surface fleet’s ability to execute its core competencies.