The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) in dry dock at BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair in 2011. U.S. Navy Photo
By Brad Racino – Private shipyards in San Diego responsible for protecting Navy warships have not been following security protocols meant to protect those billion-dollar assets, and the Navy was alerted to the lapses more than two years ago, according to an inewsource investigation.
San Diego is the principal homeport of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, and waterborne security threats have been a top priority for the Navy since the deadly terrorist bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.
Security requirements for these private contractors are spelled out in a list Navy demands which reads, in part, “A dedicated waterborne security boat shall patrol within 200 yards of the protected vessel.”
But over the course of the investigation, inewsource reporter found that BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair and HII San Diego Shipyard, both major contractors conducting work on Navy vessels, were either not providing the required number of patrol boats within 200 yards of ships – or weren’t providing any at all. NASSCO also appeared to be in violation, but later offered an explanation.
Also concerning, documents obtained by inewsource showed the shipyards’ lapses are nothing new, rather the Navy was alerted to them at least two years ago.
You can read more in inewsource’s full report: Security gaps at San Diego shipyards put billion-dollar Navy warships at risk, by Brad Racino
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