NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Because of the deadly USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald crashes, the Navy is taking an operational pause.
The purpose is to go over safety procedures.
All 277 ships in the fleet are affected.
Today at Naval Station Norfolk, USS Cole sailors gathered in the destroyer's enlisted mess deck, to go over navigational operations and to discuss the dangers they face when they are at sea.
The idea is to make the working conditions as safe as possible for the 324,000 men and women in the active fleet.
The pause comes amid a really rough stretch for the Navy
Following the pair of at-sea collisions this summer in the Pacific involving the guided missile destroyers USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain.
Seven sailors died in the first mishap; The bodies of two have been recovered and eight are still missing in the second crash.
"It's heartbreaking to see what's happened," said Commander David Wroe, commanding officer of the USS Cole, a ship which has known its own share of heartache.
Wroe says it is vital that his 300 sailors always focus on safety.
"Frankly, every single sailor and every single watch matters," he said. "We all rely on each other every day, in port, underway, on deployment, in the Virginia Capes operating area. We rely on each other every single day, on every watch."
The global operational pause was ordered by Chief of Naval operations Admiral John Richardson.
All East Coast units are expected to have completed the training by August 28.
Meantime Fleet Forces Admiral Phil Davidson is conducting a separate investigation. He has 60 days to complete his review of operations in the 7th Fleet that take a broader look at how the Navy trains and certifies its surface warfare community, including tactical and navigational proficiency.
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