The USS John S. McCain's collision with a commercial tanker on Monday marked the second major mishap for naval warships in three months. Ten American sailors are still missing after the latest incident, which occurred near Singapore.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson first called for an investigation into the incident, and has now called for a global "operational pause." He made the announcement via a video statement.
”This trend needs more forceful action,” he said. As such, I've directed an operational cause to be taken in all of our fleets throughout the world. I want our fleet commanders to get together with their leaders and their commands to ensure we’re taking all appropriate and immediate actions to ensure safe and effective operations around the world."
He's also conducted a comprehensive review of the incident. The appointed team, which will include individuals outside of the Navy, will be looking at maintenance, equipment, personnel, navigational and tactical proficiency, etc.
The USS Fitzgerald crashed into a Philippine-flagged container ship off the coast of Japan in June. Seven crew members died. After an investigation into the crash, USS Fitzgerald's commander and two other senior leaders were relieved of their duties.
In addition to the USS McCain and USS Fitzgerald collisions, two other concerning naval incidents have taken place in the past year.
On May 9, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain was struck by a small fishing boat off the Korean Peninsula.
And in late January, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground while trying to anchor in Tokyo Bay. Authorities at Yokosuka Naval Base said the Antietam remains out of action.
"We need to get to the bottom of this, so let's get to it," Richardson said.
God bless our Navy.