The United States Navy has greenlit sailors to move off the USS George Washington aircraft carrier and live at a local installation nearby following a string of deaths and suicides, The Hill reported.
“The Commanding Officer of USS George Washington has taken steps to provide an opportunity to every sailor who is currently living on the ship to elect to move to off-ship accommodations at a local installation,” Lt. Cmdr. Rob Myers, a Naval Air Forces Atlantic spokesman, informed The Hill.
Myers says the sailors began moving off the aircraft carrier on Monday and, as such, will continue to until “all sailors who wish to move off-ship have done so.”
Military.com first broke the story last Thursday and obtained a recording from the ship’s commanding officer Capt. Brent Gaut announcing the change. The outlet suggests 422 sailors are living aboard the ship.
Following the deaths by suicides aboard the ship, the Navy is taking steps to address the mental health of its sailors. In doing so, it will provide tele-mental health services through network providers.
The USS George Washington is currently docked and has been so since 2017 in Newport News, Va., for a “mid-life” refueling and a “complex overhaul.”
But still, the option to move off-ship will be granted to all sailors regardless of pay grade. However, Myers has cautioned that a “certain number of sailors” would still be required to stay aboard in order to run the ship’s essential equipment, “provide essential services to the crew, maintain fire and flooding watches,” as well as maintain the ship’s security.
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