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CNO orders operational pause following McCain collision

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson

AUGUST 21, 2017 — In response to the collision involving USS John S. McCain, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson has ordered an operational pause for all U.S. Navy fleets around the world.

“As you know, this is the second collision in three months and the [latest] of a series of incidents in the Pacific theater. This trend demands more forceful action,” said Admiral Richardson in a video released on Facebook. “As such, I’ve directed an operational pause be taken in all of our fleets around the world.

“I want our fleet commander to get together with their leaders and their commands to ensure that we’re taking all appropriate to ensure safe and effective operations around the world.

“In addition to that operational pause, I’ve directed a more comprehensive review to ensure that we get at the contributing factors – the root causes – of these incidents.

“This review is in addition of the investigations that are looking into the collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and now the USS John McCain. I’ve asked Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, to take charge of that investigation and we will examine the process by which we train and certify our forces that are forward deployed in Japan to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to make sure they’re ready for operations and warfighting.

“This will include – but not be limited to – looking at operational tempo, trends in personnel, material, maintenance and equipment. It will also include a review of how we train and certify our surface warfare community, including tactical and navigational proficiency.

“Now I want to make as many resources across the Navy available to Adm. Davidson to conduct this review. That will include the Naval Inspector General, the Naval Safety Center and others. I want this to be a broad and diverse team – including officers and enlisted from across the Navy and also people outside the Navy, the other services and the private sector.

“I want this team to be as diverse as they can be so we don’t miss anything in our review.

“This review will be on a very tight timeline. I want to get frequent updates. This requires urgent action. We need to get to it and take corrective action.

“Finally, I will be getting updates throughout and will be keeping our leadership informed.

“In closing, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of USS John McCain and USS Fitzgerald. We need to get to the bottom of this, so let’s get to it.”

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