WASHINGTON - Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee made the following comment after the USS John S. McCain collided with a commercial vessel off Singapore. The collision is the fourth major accident involving the US Pacific Fleet this year, and has prompted the Chief of Naval Operations to impose a 24 hour operational pause to review training and procedures. Last week, the Marine Corps instituted a similar operational pause after a series of fatal aircraft accidents.
“The Sailors on the McCain and their families are in my prayers today. This is the fourth serious Naval accident this year. We ask a lot of our men and women in the Navy. The time they spend at sea is increasing, while their ships age and their funding gets cut. These are just the conditions that can lead to an increase in the kinds of accidents we are witnessing. At a time of increasing threats, two military services have now had to take a knee to review safety and training procedures. That is unprecedented, and no way to protect America. Congress has a duty to provide our Sailors with the additional resources they so clearly need, and to do so immediately. To do any less, while these Sailors are doing so much for us, would be immoral.”