By Martha Jette
Below is the link to the full press conference held by Admirals Richardson and Greenert:
On February 4, 2014, Admiral John M. Richardson, director of the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Training Course (NNPTC) spoke during a press conference held at the Pentagon because an investigation is underway over allegations of cheating on written tests by sailors, who hoped to become certified instructors of the program at Charleston, S.C.
According to an Associated Press report, this investigation involves about 30 sailors. With about 150 instructors at the South Carolina school, training will suffer, as these suspected cheaters have been at least temporarily suspended.
The sailors involved had already taken reactor operations training and were deployed aboard nuclear-powered Navy vessels. To become a course instructor, they had to pass “re-qualification exams.”
Adm. Richardson stated that those involved “are alleged to have provided test information to their peers,” which was done via their “home computers.” He also noted that their actions “could be a violation of security rules because information about nuclear reactor operations is classified.”
Although the admiral said in his initial report about “12 to 20” sailors were involved in the cheating, another “Navy official” who wished to remain anonymous, stated that the number is about 30 and that even that number could change “as the investigation unfolds.”
“That’ll be an active part of the investigation to fully understand” the extent of any security violations, Adm. Richardson said adding that this matter is being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Admiral Richardson is taking full responsibility.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, said at a joint announcement with Richardson that he was upset to learn of the breakdown in discipline. He added “We expect more from our Sailors, especially these senior enlisted.”
This is actually the second time a cheating scandal in the U.S. Navy has surface over the past few years. The admiral noted a scandal in 2010 involving nuclear reactor operators. At that time, the nuclear-powered USS Memphis lost approximately 10 percent of its crew when a “cheating ring was discovered” among those who passed the nuclear propulsion program.
He added that anyone caught cheating – “either in a training setting or aboard a ship at sea” – could be removed from the program and might even be “kicked out of the Navy.”
By Martha Jette ~The program aims to ensure that all of the Navy’s nuclear propulsion plants are run in a safe and reliable manner. To do so, this course provides training in several areas Continue reading →