US Navy releases command investigation into 2021 submarine grounding

The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a scheduled port visit on July 31, 2021. (Photo: US Navy/Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brett Cote)

The US Navy has released the command investigation into a submarine grounding incident that occurred on October 2, 2021.

The Seawolf-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Connecticut grounded on an uncharted seamount while operating submerged in a poorly surveyed area in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region on the said date.

The investigation determined that the grounding was preventable. Specifically, the grounding resulted from an accumulation of unit-level errors and omissions in navigation planning; watch team execution; and risk management – all of which fell far below US Navy standards.

The navy said the investigation and endorsements describes what happened, promulgates lessons learned, memorialises completed corrective actions, documents accountability actions, and delineates pending actions that must be finalised with a sense of urgency.

In addition to addressing the unit-level errors that caused the grounding, the investigation highlighted specific areas for improvement in the deployment training and certification process. The navy is urgently implementing these improvements across the Submarine Force.

The investigation delineates 28 corrective actions, of which 14 actions are complete, 13 actions are in progress, and one action is enduring.

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