aken the Navy to its core, and it is a solemn reminder of the hazards of life at sea. The flurry of recent commentary attributing both incidents to systemic problems, particularly in the surface force, raises essential questions that warrant honest reflection. The release of findings from both investigations sheds light on their crews’ specific actions and missteps. Likewise, the findings from U.S. Fleet Forces Command’s “Comprehensive Review” reveal a glut of systemic-level failures. Now the Navy must consider whether, in its self-examination, it has opened the aperture wide enough. Is it possible that these terrible collisions are symptoms of an affliction much more profound than a culture that disdains the importance of sleep or a propensity to attempt too much with too little? Is it possible that these incidents are manifestations of the maladies to which are prone all navies that have been sheltered by a long period of peace, and whose multiple generations of officers have never experienced war at sea?
In the Long Calm Lee of Midway
Has the surface navy lost its warfighting edge?Losing 17 of our shipmates in the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) last summer has sh
By Lieutenant Commander Colin Roberts, U.S. Navy