Armed Forces News

Atlantic Ocean - Dec 2017: Inspectors from the Board of Inspection and Survey, watch Sailors perform a steering demonstration aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), to ensure the ship meets Navy standards. The Naval Safety Center wants to emulate INSURV but for safety inspections. (Navy photo by Chief MCS Jen Blake)

The Navy’s newest command is moving forward with plans to conduct no-notice and short-notice inspections. Seapower magazine reports that the Naval Safety Command, which was created from the former Naval Safety Center, will conduct inspections of other Navy commands with the intent of getting a better idea of risks and safety postures in the fleet.

Rear Adm. Fredrick “Lucky” Luchtman, the one-star who now leads the command, said in a recent speech that the command would report directly to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday. Luchtman noted that the Navy has lost an estimated $1 billion annually to mishaps – to include loss of aircraft, time that ships can remain underway, personnel costs, and other factors. He said that 2020 was particularly costly, due to the fire (for which a sailor was charged with arson) that ultimately destroyed the amphibious assault ship Bon Homme Richard. The command is in the process of developing a professional staff that would be capable of assessing compliance with safety measures, he added.

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“The accountability piece is absolutely the key,” Luchtman said. “The system isn’t as healthy as it could be.”

He expressed particular concern about the fact that 25 percent of all Marine Corps recruits do not have a driver’s license. The Marines make heavy use of motor transport, he said.

Seapower also reported that Luchtman will soon move to a new job. Rear Adm. Christopher M. Engdahl, now commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2 and Amphibious Force, US 7th Fleet, will succeed him as commander of the Naval Safety Command.

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