Strings of suicides prompts relocation of US aircraft carrier sailors — Analysis

More than 200 sailors were rehoused at the USS George Washington air carrier

After a series of suicides aboard the USS George Washington, the US Navy decided that sailors who were living on the ship could move to another accommodation. Since 2017, the vessel was dry-docked at Virginia and is currently undergoing extensive repairs and refueling.

“The move plan will continue until all Sailors who wish to move off-ship have done so,”Naval Air Force Atlantic made the statement in a release.

The vessel’s crew is only half the 5,000 strong, but they continue to work on it. The vessel is dry-docked and home to approximately 420 sailors. More than 200 sailors have already left the carrier to move ashore at a Navy base nearby.

After a series of fatalities at the carrier, the decision was made to not allow sailors to stay aboard the ship that is undergoing repairs. Seven crewmembers of the USS George Washington died in the last 12 months, with at least four of them by suicide. The relocation was apparently initiated by three deaths in less than one week.

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Admiral John Meier (commander of US Naval Air Force Atlantic) admitted that the deployment of sailors to an unrepaired vessel might have been premature during Tuesday’s media roundtable.

“If I knew then what I know today, I think we would have clearly delayed crew move aboard,”The commander spoke.

According to media reports sailors complained repeatedly about the conditions at the vessel. These complaints included heavy construction sounds and heat-water outages as well as long commutes to and from vessel. Meier admitted that he knew that crewmembers could spend more than three hours per day just to commute to and from the carrier.

To determine whether this string of suicides may be linked, the Navy launched separate probes. “command climate”Take your belongings aboard the ship.

“We’ve assigned an investigating officer to look into that and to really to look into the proximate cause. Did there exist an immediate trigger for the event? Did these events have a connection? I expect that to report out this week, and I won’t presuppose the outcome of that report,”Meier stated that the decision to make public or hide the report was entirely up to his superiors.

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