The Navy says it is making headway on improving the quality of life for sailors stuck in shipyards during sometimes yearslong ship overhauls and nuclear refuelings following several high-profile suicide clusters and revelations about poor living conditions.
The Navy's Quality of Service Cross-Functional Team has spent the last six months trying to improve conditions for sailors at the Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Newport News, Virginia. The shipyard became well-known after conditions for sailors there deteriorated to the point that the aircraft carrier USS George Washington experienced “a 9/11-like event” of suicides in 2021 and early 2022.
Rear Adm. Christopher Gray, the team's leader, said during his first media interview in the role that he hopes his work will not only improve conditions at the shipyard but also provide upgrades to sailors' lives across the fleet. Navy officials also stressed that there is important work being done on updating service standards and ensuring sailors' experiences help keep them serving.
Read Next: VA Pauses Foreclosures on Veterans Facing Difficulties Making Mortgage Payments
Gray was direct about the events that led to his team's mission. Throughout the decades-long Global War on Terror, the Navy chose to fully fund resources at sea at the expense of shore installations “to make sure that the tip of the spear is sharp, that we have all the equipment and spare parts that we need for when…