WASHINGTON – In an eyebrow-raising assertion, the appearing undersecretary of the Navy complained about congressional oversight of Navy packages, suggesting that present leaders shouldn’t be held accountable for earlier administrations’ failures.
“You shouldn’t be held guilty for the sins of your parents,” Gregory Slavonic mentioned, “and I think the Navy is being called to task because of [littoral combat ship] — that this administration had nothing to do with — but we’re having to fix it. [The carrier] Gerald Ford, all those challenges, we’re being held our feet to the fire to make those things right. And we didn’t have anything to do with it.”
Slavonic kvetched about resistance on Capitol Hill to the Navy’s plans to quickly develop unmanned techniques, which has been derailed for 2 years due to Congressional issues over the Navy’s suspect monitor document for maturing new applied sciences on packages such because the Ford-class provider and the Littoral Combat Ship.
“Some of these people may have been in these jobs too long,” he mentioned.
It is definitely true that lawmakers have been vocal of their dissatisfaction with the Navy over its delays in fielding a totally working provider Ford and LCS, and that lots of the points with Ford and LCS date to selections from Bush Administration. But that the present leaders shouldn’t take the warmth from lawmakers for ongoing failures, that notion doesn’t wash with many consultants.
Even if the present Navy management didn’t create lots of the points its working via, it hasn’t been very open concerning the ongoing issues both, mentioned Bryan Clark, a retired submarine officer and senior fellow on the Hudson Institute.
“This administration … [was] not clear with the Hill regarding the situation and challenges with Ford and LCS,” Clark mentioned. “We keep getting reports from the waterfront about failed tests and design flaws, but the civilian leadership isn’t standing up and saying what the potential liabilities are and how they are going to address them.
“We may not be able to ‘fix’ LCS, but we can come up with a way to use them that mitigates their shortfalls. On Ford, they could just be more open about the state of its development, and make changes in how the current CVN fleet is managed to avoid it being overworked in the meantime.”
Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow on the Brookings Institution, minced no phrases, saying Slavonic shouldn’t take criticism personally.
“Perhaps he should think more about the taxpayer and the country, and recognize that as a top leader of the Navy, he needs to help earn the nation’s trust for his institution in a way that transcends person, administration, or any given program,” O’Hanlon mentioned in an electronic mail
“Whether problems with LCS and Ford are his fault or not, he needs to be part of the solution—and recognize that lawmakers acting in good faith but being tough on the Navy may be doing the country a service.”
Slavonic’s assertion might be moderately attributed to his brief time remaining within the workplace, mentioned Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at American Enterprise Institute, however taking the warmth in your predecessors is a part of being in management.
“While there is an element of fairness to the statement, it’s part of the job,” Eaglen mentioned. “If you can’t defend or speak to lessons learned of your predecessors’ mistakes, then don’t take the gig. When Sen. McCain blasted Air Force (and other) officials for buying the F-22 ‘hangar queen,’ they had to answer for decisions made before their time.”
Part of the explanation Congress does that is to clarify to present political appointees that selections they make will likely be felt, good or unhealthy, after they depart workplace, Eaglen mentioned.
When it will get proper all the way down to it, nonetheless, pointing backwards at your predecessors’ failures isn’t an possibility for commanders within the fleet, and it shouldn’t be for civilian leaders both, mentioned Clark, the Hudson Institute analyst.
“As any commander knows, you inherit the ship and crew as is and you then own it,” Clark mentioned. “That’s part of the job.”