Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is facing furor in the ranks over his decision to break with centuries of tradition and stop all identification of sailors by their job titles. It’s a lunatic fight to be having when the Navy faces multiple disasters.
Those challenges include crippling flaws in its newest class of ships, as well as serious problems with the new supercarrier, the Gerald R. Ford.
Formal delivery of the ship is already 14 months late, and persistent electrical problems remain a mystery. It’s supposed to be the first of a new class, packed with new tech — but it can’t manage to actually power all its systems. Oh, and the price tag’s already up to $12.9 billion, 20 percent above initial estimates.
Meanwhile, the Navy’s littoral combat ships are still plagued with bugs eight years after the first one launched. The latest bad news: USS Montgomery (LCS-8) suffered a cracked hull after colliding with a tugboat while trying to escape Hurricane Matthew.