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US Navy Plans One-day Pause Following Warship Collisions

Washington (August 22, 2017): United States Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson is expected to order a rare operational pause across the entire US Navy, a US defense official said.

The pause is a one-day safety stand-down that would be done over the course of a couple weeks and at the discretion of individual commands, the source said.

The operational pause comes in the wake of the USS John McCain’s collision with an oil tanker east of Singapore early Monday — the fourth accident in Asian waters this year.

A US television has obtained an advance copy of a statement expected to be released by Richardson Monday, in which he says: “I have directed fleet commanders to immediately conduct an operational pause with commands and leaders across the fleet, to ensure we are taking all appropriate immediate measures to enhance the Navy’s safe and effective operation around the world.”

“This is the second major collision in the last three months, and is the latest in a series of major incidents, particularly in the Pacific theater. This trend demands more forceful action,” Richardson said in the statement.

Richardson has also ordered a “comprehensive review into all potential factors contributing to the series of incidents.”

The commander of US Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Phil Davidson, will lead the review. That review “will examine the process by which we train and certify our forward deployed forces in Japan to be ready for operations and war,” according to Richardson in the statement. “This will include, but not be limited to, trends in operational tempo, performance, maintenance, equipment and personnel. It will also focus on surface warfare training and career development, including tactical and navigational proficiency.” Richardson promises a swift investigation in the statement.

“This review will be on a tight timeline — we need to get to the bottom of these problems and quickly make corrective actions,” he says in the statement. “I will get frequent updates as this effort proceeds, and will keep leadership informed as we learn more.”

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