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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Surface Warfare Training - Congressional Improvement Plan

6 (a) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following find-
7 ings:
8 (1) In 2017, there were three collisions and one
9 grounding involving United States Navy ships in the
10 Western Pacific. The two most recent mishaps in-
11 volved separate incidents of a Japan-based United
12 States Navy destroyer colliding with a commercial
13 merchant vessel, resulting in the combined loss of 17
14 sailors.
15 (2) The causal factors in these four mishaps
16 are linked directly to a failure to take sufficient ac-
17 tion in accordance with the rules of good seaman-
18 ship.
19 (3) Because risks are high in the maritime envi-
20 ronment, there are widely accepted standards for
21 safe seamanship and navigation. In the United
22 States, the International Convention on Standards
23 of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (herein-
24 after in this section referred to as the ‘‘STCW’’) for
25 Seafarers, standardizes the skills and foundational knowledge a maritime professional must have in sea-
26 manship and navigation.
3 (4) Section 568 of the National Defense Au4
thorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (Public Law
5 114–328; 130 Stat. 2139) endorsed the STCW proc-
6 ess and required the Secretary of Defense to maxi-
7 mize the extent to which Armed Forces service,
8 training, and qualifications are creditable toward
9 meeting merchant mariner licenses and certifications.
11 (5) The Surface Warfare Officer Course Curriculum is being modified to include ten individual
13 Go/No Go Mariner Assessments/Competency Check
14 Milestones to ensure standardization and quality of
15 the surface warfare community.
16 (6) The Military-to-Mariner Transition report
17 of September 2017 notes the Army maintains an ex-
18 tensive STCW qualifications program and that a
19 similar Navy program does not exist.
20 (b) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Con-
21 gress that—
22 (1) the Secretary of the Navy should establish
23 a comprehensive individual proficiency assessment
24 process and include such an assessment prior to all
1 operational surface warfare officer tour assignments;
2 and
3 (2) the Secretary of the Navy should signifi-
4 cantly expand the STCW qualifications process to
5 improve seamanship and navigation individual skills
6 training for surface warfare candidates, surface war-
7 fare officers, quartermasters and operations special-
8 ists to include an increased set of courses that di-
9 rectly correspond to STCW standards.
10 (c) REPORT.—Not later than March 1, 2019, the
11 Secretary of the Navy shall submit to the congressional
12 defense committees a report that includes each of the fol-
13 lowing:
14 (1) A detailed description of the surface war-
15 fare officer assessments process.
16 (2) A list of programs that have been approved
17 for credit toward merchant mariner credentials.
18 (3) A complete gap analysis of the existing sur
19 face warfare training curriculum and STCW.
20 (4) A complete gap analysis of the existing sur-
21 face warfare training curriculum and the 3rd mate
22 unlimited licensing requirement.
23 (5) An assessment of surface warfare options to
24 complete the 3rd mate unlimited license and the
25 STCW qualification.
USCG checklist on obtaining 3rd Mates License:

You might note that Navy ROTC grads who do not attend one of the maritime academies may have require some additional time to meet the "Sea Service" requirement.

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