Navy acknowledges suicides of 7 sailors assigned to the USS George Washington

Seven Military sailors assigned to the USS George Washington have died by means of suicide throughout the time the airplane provider has been present process a yearslong overhaul in Newport Information, Virginia, the Military mentioned Thursday. 

The Military said Thursday that along with the 4 suicides up to now 12 months that CBS Information has reported, 3 extra sailors assigned to the provider died by means of suicide in 2019 and 2020. 

The 3 suicides from 2019 and 2020 came about whilst the USS George Washington used to be below the command of Capt. Kenneth Sturdy. In step with the Military, Sturdy left the send 3 months forward of time table as a result of “particular person incidents of deficient judgment and management acumen.” In spite of his early departure, Sturdy used to be awarded a Legion of Benefit for, amongst different issues, profitable a ranking of 98% at the 2019 Protection and Occupational Well being Control Analysis.

The residing and dealing stipulations at the provider provide demanding situations for the sailors. Whilst it is within the shipyard, the George Washington is basically a building zone, the place it may be cramped, scorching and loud for the staff on board. 

One of the crucial send’s staff advised CBS Information that “it looks like Giant Military has left us out to dry. No person cares.”

US aircraft carrier USS George Washington
U.S. airplane provider USS George Washington is observed throughout its project within the jap Mediterranean Sea on February 5, 2017.

USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH / HANDOUT by means of Getty

 After stories that 3 sailors had died by means of suicide in one week in April, the Military opened an investigation ultimate week into their deaths. It is inspecting whether or not residing stipulations at the provider performed a job within the suicides and whether or not the send’s commanders did the whole lot they might to make the stipulations as appropriate as imaginable.

The USS George Washington’s overhaul is in the back of time table — the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire for surprising upkeep have saved the provider within the shipyard for just about a 12 months longer than anticipated. The provider has been docked at Newport Information Shipbuilding for a significant overhaul since 2017.

The Military’s most sensible enlisted chief, Grasp Leader Petty Officer of the Military Russell Smith, visited the provider ultimate week and took questions from the sailors. Based on a query about residing stipulations at the send, Smith mentioned, “I feel we most definitely may have executed higher to regulate your expectancies coming in right here,” in line with audio and a transcript of the seek advice from to the provider. 

“What you might be now not doing is dozing in a foxhole like a marine may well be doing. What you’re doing goes house at evening, maximum nights,” Smith mentioned, including, “The disadvantage is one of the shit that it’s important to undergo logistically will force you loopy.”

The USS George Washington isn’t the primary provider to enjoy a rash of suicides whilst going via a significant overhaul. In September 2019, 3 sailors assigned to the USS George HW Bush died by means of suicide inside one week because the send used to be going via a recovery in Virginia. 

The Pentagon in March introduced the Suicide Prevention and Reaction Impartial Overview Committee to check prevention actions. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned previous this month that the committee will glance into stipulations around the drive together with for the ones on ships. 

For fast lend a hand in case you are in a disaster, name the toll-free Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), to be had 24 hours an afternoon, seven days per week. All calls are confidential.  

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