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Wittman Reacts to USS Connecticut Grounding Command Investigation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Ranking Member on the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, released the following statement in response to the Navy’s release of the command investigation into the USS CONNECTICUT grounding that occurred on 2 October 2021 last year: 

“Last October, I was dismayed by the grounding of the USS Connecticut (SSN-22) after the Sea Wolf-class attack submarine hit an underwater feature—now identified as an uncharted seamount—in the South China Sea. Today’s release of the Navy’s command investigation into the grounding rightly provides accountability and fleet learning initiatives; now more than ever, we cannot afford complacency regarding the important traditions of superior performance and high standards that we hold for our Navy and Sailors. 

“The command investigation found that ‘this grounding was preventable,’ resulting from ‘unit-level errors and omissions.’ As the Navy seeks to implement the investigation’s recommended improvements in the deployment training process, leaders will find a ready partner in Congress for ensuring that progress is made to make the submarine force safer and more lethal in the future. 

“Importantly, the grounding of the USS Connecticut last year also reminded us of the incredibly narrow margins the Navy must contend with for its maintenance and repair work. Dry dock facilities for submarine repairs are not available west of Hawaii. The vessel’s final arrival in Washington State and the ensuing costs of fixing the sub only reiterate the risks of assuming the world will not get a vote in our future operations in the Indo-Pacific—we need the facilities and flexibility to prepare for the unexpected. I look forward to continued progress on the USS Connecticut, and welcome this accountability from the Navy.”    

Read the Navy’s command investigation online.