20:44 GMT31 October 2020
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    After a series of mechanical breakdowns, all US Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) have been ordered to “stand down” until engineers can review the state-of-the-art vessels and retrain crew members.

    Last month, the USS Coronado was forced to return to Pearl Harbor after experiencing an engineering failure while en route to the Western Pacific.

    "The extent of repairs and any operational impact is unknown at this time," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said in a press release. "An assessment of the casualty will be completed upon return to Pearl Harbor."

    This was only the latest in a series of embarrassing setbacks for the US Navy’s LCS fleet. In light of the widespread problems, the Navy has quietly ordered all LCS ships to halt operations.

    "Due to the ongoing challenges with littoral combat ships, I ordered an engineering stand-down for LCS squadrons and the crews that fall under their command," Vice Adm. Tom Rowden said in a statement, according to Military.com.

    "These stand downs allowed for time to review, evaluate and renew our commitment to ensuring our crews are fully prepared to operate these ships safely."

    Officials have not revealed what caused the Coronado’s breakdown, but the USS Freedom was forced to return to its homeport in San Diego last month after a seal malfunction caused seawater to seep into the ship’s engine.

    Without offering specifics, the US Navy said the Coronado will be repaired soon.

    "A preliminary investigation will provide an initial assessment and procedural review of the situation, and any shortfalls will be addressed quickly to get the ship fixed and back on deployment," officials said.

    Still, the Navy’s main focus seems to be on crew training. In addition to retraining all LCS crew members with any engineering role, the Navy’s Surface Warfare Officer’s School will also spend the next 30 days reviewing the training program.

    "From there, more adjustments may be made to the engineering training pipeline," the statement reads.

    Pentagon officials have been aware of issues with its Littoral Combat Ships throughout development, but insisted on moving forward with the program. A review by a government watchdog group found that the ships were susceptible to corrosion. A separate report by the Director of Operational Test & Evaluation conducted in February found that the LCS vessels were vulnerable to small attack boats.


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