WASHINGTON — The second highest ranking admiral in the Navy explained Wednesday what the service must do to prevent another major ship fire like the one aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard that gutted the amphibious assault ship last year in San Diego.
Adm. Bill Lescher, vice chief of naval operations, said the force must create “better mechanisms to recognize when our people need help or need intervention” with firefighter training after a report on the July 2020 fire released Wednesday found the Bonhomme Richard crew was unprepared to fight the flames.
Senate appropriators are worried about the Navy’s budget tactics and are calling upon the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study to address their concerns.
The Senate Appropriations Committee wants the comptroller general, which leads the GAO, to assess the procedures both the Navy and the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) use when planning for multi-year procurement contracts and provide a report to lawmakers within three months of the Fiscal Year 2022 defense spending bill becoming law, according to the explanatory statement accompanying a draft of the legislation. The statement language specifically raises concerns over how the Navy has handled its multi-year procurement deals in recent years.