Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, will order a rare operational pause across the entire US Navy, he said in a statement Monday.
The pause is a one-day, safety stand-down that would be done at the discretion of individual commands, a US defense official told CNN.
Adm. Scott Swift, Pacific Fleet commander, said Tuesday that the forces under his command will complete the pause mandated by Richardson by August 28. There will also be a reset for the ships in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on areas such as navigation and bridge operations, Swift said.
The operational pause comes in the wake of the USS John McCain’s collision early Monday with an oil tanker east of Singapore – the fourth accident in Asian waters this year.
“I’ve directed an operational pause be taken in all of our fleets around the world. I want our fleet commanders to get together with their leaders and their commands to ensure that we’re taking all immediate action to ensure safe and effective operations around the world,” Richardson said in a Monday statement, which was posted on social media.
“This is the second collision in three months and the last in a series of incidents in the Pacific theater. This trend demands more forceful actions,” Richardson said.
Richardson has also ordered a “comprehensive review to ensure that we get at the contributing factors, the root causes of these incidents.”
The commander of US Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Phil Davidson, will lead the review.
The review “will examine the process by which we train and certify our forces that are forward-deployed in Japan, to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to make them ready for operations and war fighting,” according to Richardson.
“This will include, but not be limited to, looking at operational tempo, trends in personnel, materiel, maintenance and equipment. It will also include a review of how we train and certify our surface warfare community, including tactical and navigational proficiency.”
In the statement, Richardson promised a swift investigation.
“This review will be on a very tight timeline. I want to get frequent updates. This requires urgent action. We need to get to it and take corrective action. Finally, I will be getting updates throughout and I will keep our leadership informed.”