In Forbes: It’s Time For The Navy To Start Talking About USS Connecticut’s Future

by Craig Hooper on November 3, 2021

Not to be a downer, but the Navy has, in the space of a little less than a year, probably lost a second multi-billion dollar frontline asset. First the Bonhomme Richard, and now, possibly, the USS Connecticut.

The last time a sub publicly suffered a controlled flight into terrain was in 2005, and the ONLY reason it returned to service was because we had a spare bow available. We just chopped off the damaged structure and replaced it. That option is no longer available–we’ll have to fix things from scratch. And that’s going to be a CHALLENGE. I fear we don’t have the money, yard availability and time to fix the Connecticut, and, even if we do take the stupid route of fixing the unfixable, we’ll end up eking just a few years of deployments out of a severely restricted platform.

If the sub is in bad shape–the mentioning of “grounding” and that two forward ballast tanks were compromised–suggest that may well be the case, then, well, the faster the Navy and the Congress realize the USS Connecticut will never again be a Seawolf, the better. Let’s not go wasting a ton of money because we lack the guts to be the bearer of bad news.

Also, now that the Chinese are hammering away at our continued silence, we need to be doing some serious thinking about how to roll out the facts–particularly if somebody, somewhere on our side, actually did make a stupid mistake. And if the mistake was made due to behaviors we’ve already targeted as problematic but have, up till now, failed to address, we’re not gonna tap-dance our way out of this by over-classifying everything. It’s making us look dumb internationally.

It’s time for real accountability. Big Navy won’t like this, but we can’t keep losing capital ships and then blithely acting like nobody is to blame but some hapless JO’s someplace. It may well be time for some high level Navy leaders to face the music, and it will be interesting to see what SECNAV Del Toro will do in the days and weeks to come.

Here’s the link.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken boyd February 26, 2022 at 7:08 pm

Hello Craig
What is going on with the UIS Navy ?
Why cant we design a warship ?
Why cant we plan for the future ?
Why do all your submarines look the same ?
Perhaps we need to ask our allies to design and
Build ships for us as we closed so many of our shipyards
Such as Mare Island close to where I live .
Our young people don’t seem to be interested in
Hard dirty work, thumbing messages on a phone is all
They do well .
So I stay we get the Italians to do this for us, their Navy ships
Look outstanding to me ……. Is it me ? Or do I have a point .
Ken
Napa Ca

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Floretta November 16, 2021 at 12:06 pm

Thank you for this article, The double deuce has been the red-headed stepchild of the three Seawolf class subs from the beginning. And the latest mishap is only one in a string of episodes, not forgetting the bedbug infestation (which, in spite of Navy assertions that they got ’em all with chemicals and replacing bedding etc,. they didn’t.) The crew can only do so much themselves. Concerns are not always addressed by higher ups or are passed along to get lost in a bureaucratic paper shuffle. Those guys must be on the edge, having been out most of the year. At this point, get it safe enough to park it in Goose Creek and use it for training.

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Jude November 10, 2021 at 10:51 am

I’m betting it will become the newest moored training ship ever. Hell of a use of resources.

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