Provided by Congressman Rob Wittman’s Office
Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, released the following statement following his August 28th visit to the U.S. 7th Fleet, headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan in response to the collision of the USS John S. McCain off the coast of Singapore on August 21:
“I met with Vice Admiral Sawyer earlier today and was encouraged that he shares my concern for rapidly improving the safety of our fleet. I continue to believe that there are underlying problems with the forward deployed navy forces that need to be improved including the material condition and training readiness levels of our Navy forces. I look forward to discussing the welfare of our sailors and addressing these underlying problems with Navy leadership in early September.”
As a result of continuing concerns associated with the collisions of the USS John McCain and the USS Fitzgerald, Congressman Wittman visited the U.S. 7th Fleet during a Congressional Delegation Visit to the Pacific Command Area of Responsibility to include a discussion with the new 7th Fleet Commander, VADM Sawyer, and other sailors at the Yokosuka Naval Base.
On September 7th, the House Armed Services Committee will host a joint hearing between the Subcommittees on Seapower & Projection Forces and Readiness on “Navy Readiness – Underlying Problems Associated with the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain”. Witnesses for the hearing will be VADM Thomas S. Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, United States Navy and Mr. John H. Pendleton, Director, Defense Force Structure and Readiness Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office.