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House Armed Services subcommittees to hold hearings on recent naval accidents

By DANIELA ALTIMARI | The Hartford Courant (Tribune News Service) | Published: August 24, 2017

Congress will hold a hearing next month in response to a series of accidents in recent weeks involving the U.S. Navy.

The House Armed Services subcommittees on seapower and projection forces and readiness will convene the joint hearing on Sept. 7.

“I have become increasingly concerned this year by the growing number of accidents including the two fatal collisions this summer involving the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain,’’ said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, a Democrat from the 2nd District who is the ranking member of the seapower and projection forces subcommittee.

On Monday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson announced an unusual pause in global naval operations following a collision between the USS John S. McCain and a merchant ship near Singapore. It was the second deadly accident this summer: In June, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship southwest of Tokyo, killing seven sailors.

“While I believe CNO Richardson’s operational pause is a good first step, it is clear that Congress must conduct rigorous oversight into the causes of these incidents and the remedies need to prevent them from happening reoccurring in the future,’’ Courtney said. “Our committee will be holding an oversight hearing when Congress reconvenes in September to examine these incidents and review the steps the Navy is taking to ensure the safety of our sailors.

“The men and women of the Navy are asked to operate in contested waters each day to protect the national security interests of the United States,’’ Courtney said. “We owe it to these sailors to make sure that they have the tools, training, and support they need to carry out their duties safely and successfully.”

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The House Armed Services Committee hearing room.
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