Say it’s not so, Coronado
It looks like a fourth LCS has suffered an engineering casualty, USS Coronado (LCS 4).
The crew took precautionary measures, and the ship is currently returning to Pearl Harbor to determine the extent of the problem and conduct repairs. Coronado is operating under her own power and is being escorted by USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187).
This adds Coronado to the list that includes USS Freedom (LCS 1) last week, USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) in last December, and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) in January. That makes four littoral combat ships– three Freedom class and now one Independence class– that have taken a hit on their propulsion suites in a nine month period. As these ships are lightly armed and speed is their best weapon, this sucks.
And the brass seem kinda hosed off.
Statement from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson:
“Last night’s problem is the fourth issue in the last year. Some of these were caused by personnel, and some were due to design and engineering. These issues are all receiving our full and immediate attention, both individually and in the aggregate. To address the personnel and training issues, I established a program-wide review earlier this summer to incorporate deployment lessons learned and identify systemic problems with how the program was structured. Vice Adm. Rowden has completed the review, which recommends changes to the crewing, deployment, mission module, training and testing concepts. These changes will provide more ownership and stability, while also allowing for more forward presence. In light of recent problems, we also recognize more immediate action needs to be taken as well. The review is being briefed to leadership before implementation. I also support Vice Adm. Rowden’s decision to improve oversight class-wide, which will result in the retraining and certifying of all LCS Sailors who work in engineering.
“With respect to the engineering issues, we are reviewing each one and making the appropriate corrections. For instance, the software problem on USS Milwaukee has been corrected for all ships. NAVSEA and SURFOR will review this most recent problem to determine the cause, and we will respond as needed to correct it.
“The entire leadership team is focused on ensuring our ships are properly designed and built, and that our Sailors have the tools and training they need to safely and effectively operate these ships. These ships bring needed capability to our combatant and theater commanders–we must get these problems fixed now.”