With recovery efforts continuing, HASC sets hearing on Navy readiness

As the remains of a second McCain crew member were identified, divers continued recovery efforts As the remains of a second McCain crew member were identified, divers continued recovery efforts

AUGUST 25, 2017 — The Navy reports that U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers recovered and identified remains of 26-year-old USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) Sailor, Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, of Connecticut, Aug. 24. Earlier Thursday, divers recovered the remains of 22-year-old Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith from New Jersey.

More divers and equipment arrived overnight to continue search and recovery operations for eight missing Sailors inside flooded compartments of the ship.

As the recovery effort continued, the House Armed Services Committee Chairman announced that it is to hold a joint hearing of its subcommittees on Seapower & Projection Forces and Readiness on Thursday, September 7, 2017 on "Navy Readiness – Underlying Problems Associated with the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain"

Witnesses scheduled to appear are Vice Admiral Thomas S. Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, and Mr. John H. Pendleton, Director, Defense Force Structure and Readiness Issues U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Mr. Pendleton's testimony seems likely to receive close attention. Back in 2015, GAO issued a report entitled "Navy Force Structure: Sustainable Plan and Comprehensive Assessment Needed to Mitigate Long-Term Risks to Ships Assigned to Overseas Homeports" [GAO-15-329]

Among its findings: "the high pace of operations the Navy uses for overseas-homeported ships limits dedicated training and maintenance periods, which has resulted in difficulty keeping crews fully trained and ships maintained."

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