Secretary Of The Navy Visits San Diego Naval Base
Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer visited Naval Base San Diego Tuesday. He held "all hands" meeting with area sailors and tour the recently commissioned littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords.
The visit, his first while in office, comes after a pair of deadly collisions involving U.S. destroyers. The latest collision, involving the USS John S. McCain and a tanker, resulted 10 deaths.
In June, seven sailors aboard the USS Fitzgerald died after a collision with another ship. Two of the victims were from the San Diego region.
Both destroyers are based in Japan. Spencer would not comment on the cause. He pointed to a Navy investigation due in 60 days. He is also appointing a separate group, made up of industry people, to review the findings.
“This is about a learning cycle we’re going to go through right now to enhance the situation, because we cannot, this is unacceptable, the process that is going on right now,” Spencer said.
In a similar visit to Naval Station Mayport in Florida last week, Spencer told sailors the collisions were "a tragedy," according to news reports.
He said the "extraordinary" tempo of operations lately may have contributed to the collisions, but he said he planned to wait until investigations are complete to decide whether to make changes. The Navy ordered a comprehensive review of the incidents and surface fleet operations.
Spencer is scheduled to visit with Marines at Camp Pendleton on Wednesday.
Sworn in on Aug. 3, Spencer is a Marine veteran who spent five years as a helicopter pilot. Most recently, he worked for a management consulting firm in Wyoming.