Navy orders LCS engineering stand down, retraining of crews

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The following is text from the Navy League's SEAPOWER:

(SAN DIEGO) — Following the recent engineering casualty on the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1), Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces (CNSF), ordered an engineering stand down for every LCS crew to review procedures and standards for their engineering departments, CNSF reported in a Sept. 5 release.

“Due to the ongoing challenges with littoral combat ships, I ordered an engineering stand down for LCS squadrons and the crews that fall under their command,” Rowden said. The stand downs have all been completed as of Aug. 31.

“These stands down allowed for time to review, evaluate, and renew our commitment to ensuring our crews are fully prepared to operate these ships safely,” Rowden said.

Additionally, Rowden directed the retraining of each LCS sailor involved in engineering on board their ship.

“I have asked the Surface Warfare Office School (SWOS) commander to review the wholeness of our LCS engineering education and training to include the testing and retraining of all LCS engineers,” Rowden said.

“This training will occur over the next 30 days and will allow the SWOS leadership to review our training program and determine if other changes need to be made to the training pipeline,” he said.

The required engineering training will be conducted by the SWOS’ engineering team, who will develop both a level-of-knowledge test and specialized training that will be deployed in the next 30 days to the LCS engineering force. The commanding officer of SWOS also is conducting a comprehensive LCS engineering review, which will likely take 30 to 60 days. From there, more adjustments may be made to the engineering training pipeline.

While determining the process for retraining and certifying the engineering departments, USS Coronado (LCS 4) experienced a casualty to one its flexible couplings assemblies on Aug. 29.

As Coronado returned to Pearl Harbor on Sept. 4, Rowden sent a small group of maintenance experts to meet the ship to take a holistic look at the engineering program on board. A preliminary investigation will provide an initial assessment and procedural review of the situation, and any shortfalls will be addressed quickly to get the ship fixed and back on deployment.

“I am fully committed to ensuring that our ships and the sailors who man them have the proper tools and training they need to safely and effectively operate these ships,” Rowden said.

By Professional Mariner Staff