Amid a surge in military aviation accidents over the past five fiscal years and four surface fleet incidents between FY 2017 and FY 2018 that killed 17 sailors—calls for a solution to the military’s “readiness crisis” continue to be heard despite recent budget increases. But what is readiness and how does it relate to the recent spell of deadly incidents?
The first ten months of 2017 have posed daunting challenges for the U.S. Navy in the Pacific with the deaths of 17 sailors and multiple serious mishaps. Some lawmakers have pointed to these tragedies as evidence of a “readiness crisis,” resulting in part from insufficient funding from Congress. This paper analyzes the Navy’s readiness funding for maintenance and training within the Navy’s operation and maintenance (O&M) budget relative to historical norms and normalized for the size of the fleet.
Administrative and training requirements that have been levied upon the services, units, and service members are timely. These bureaucratic burdens can impact operational effectiveness and readiness. It is a common mistake among new administrations to improve inefficiencies by adding programs or processes, which often results in increased time burdens. This paper provides some recommendations for effective and realistic change.