Problems with INSURV Inspections

U.S. Navy Readiness Flaws Exposed, by Philip Ewing, Defense News, 27 April 2009

Straight from the Top, by. Andrew Scutro, Navy Times, V. 58, N 33, 11 May 2009

There has been much in the news of late about the readiness of the U. S. Navy’s fleet as well as the desire to have parts of INSURV inspection kept secret. I’ve never formally served on an INSURV team but I did tag along with them a few years back while doing an inspection as part of NAVSEA. What I saw truly impressed me.

Having INSURV find something deficient is not necessarily a bad thing. These Sailors are trained to find all kinds of things. I am confident they could find problems in a car as it rolls off the assembly line. In some cases they do find serious problems that need to be addressed. Many times they find things are simply not perfect. Given the ships they have inspected are operating I suspect their findings have been somewhat overblown.

However, as the CNO points out, we need to look at how maintenance dollars are being spent, or are not being spent. Maintenance is always a tough sell. New products–ships, cars, buildings, or houses–are always more attractive when they are new, not when they are maintained. Ask and development officer on any university campus how hard it is to sell maintenance to donors. They all want their names on a new building, not on new plumbing.

The issue of keeping parts of INSURV reports classified is a no brainer. Those arguing to keep them all public are simply misinformed or ignorant of the very real threat that exists. I can only assume they would argue for homeowners to make public their security inspection reports public indicating that the window alarm on the window on the back of the house next to the kitchen is not working.

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