The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has released a report asserting that crews on Arleigh Burke-class destroyers have “training deficiencies” during maintenance and deployment.
The IG report covers 12 destroyers between 2013 and 2018, and specifically examined the optimized fleet response plan (OFRP), which aims to make sure crews are properly trained.
“Navy fleet commanders, type commanders, and unit commanding officers identified training deficiencies during the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers’ OFRP cycles, but did not address the identified deficiencies,” the report’s summary states.
The report identified two deficiencies in particular.
“Commanding officers reported training deficiencies, such as the inability to be certified or maintain proficiency in mission areas in DRRS-N for 9 of the 12 ships we reviewed,” the report states. “Fleet commanders reported on Deployment Certifications that 5 of the 12 ships we reviewed had training deficiencies such as training that was either incomplete, or not completed under established conditions or standards.”
The Navy also did not complete training requirements in some cases, the report added, citing the case of the USS Howard.
“The USS Howard did not complete all Strike Warfare mission area exercises, such as those for Naval Surface Fire Support before deployment; therefore, the ship will not be able to conduct gunnery support, such as identifying where the ship is shooting,” the report states.
The IG recommends that the Navy determine whether destroyers currently deployed or in the sustainment phase of the OFRP have outstanding training deficiencies, and to direct destroyers to complete any outstanding training requirements as soon as possible.