Navy begins distributing additional safety tools to ships following 2017 deadly collisions

Posted at 11:15 AM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 17:32:19-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Navy is moving forward with additional safety reforms following deadly collisions in the summer of 2017 that killed 17 Sailors.

The USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) collided with the ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan on June 17, 2017.

The USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC on August 21, 2017.

The FY 2020 budget funded installation of an additional Automatic Identification System (AIS) laptop on all surface ships.

Those laptops are an additional navigational tool that the Navy says "will give our watchstanders the latest navigation technology to accurately monitor underway ship positions and movements."

The laptops also include the latest Electronic Chart Display and Information System. The Navy expected distribution of the laptops to begin this month.

The sea service has already began the process of installing additional Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) radars for ships to increase redundancy in navigational equipment.

The Navy also intends to design and construct Mariner Skills Training Centers in Norfolk and San Diego to consolidate shiphandling, navigation, and leadership training efforts for Sailors in one location.