PEARL HARBOR — The U.S. Navy has released the command investigation into the USS Connecticut (SSN 22) grounding that occurred on October 2, 2021. USS Connecticut grounded on an uncharted seamount while operating submerged in a poorly surveyed area in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region. The investigation determined 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 U.S. Navy standards.
The investigation and endorsements describes what happened, promulgates lessons learned, memorializes completed corrective actions, documents accountability actions, and delineates pending actions that must be finalized 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 – and the Navy is urgently implementing these improvements across the Submarine Force. This investigation delineates 28 corrective actions, of which 14 actions are complete, 13 actions are in progress, and 1 action is enduring.
In implementing these significant improvements, the Navy will become a more effective fighting force. Given the inherently dangerous nature of Naval operations, we cannot become a risk-averse or zero-defect organization, but prioritizing safety will engender a culture of greater attention to detail in operational tasks, enhanced procedural compliance, and a questioning attitude that constantly seeks improvement – which increases the readiness of our forces and the Navy’s lethality in combat.