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Sailors logging 100 work weeks

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    Posted: 12 Dec 2018 at 5:36pm

Navy improving 7th Fleet, but sailors work 100-hour weeks, lack sleep, watchdog warns

By: 2 hours ago
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While the Navy’s 7th Fleet is making improvements in systemic shortfalls, it is being done on the backs of sailors who report being overworked and going without sleep, a government watchdog warned Wednesday. A sailor with the Japan-based guided-missile destroyer McCampbell is shown here earlier this month. (Navy)

While the Navy has made progress revamping its surface fleet in the aftermath of two fatal warship collisions last year, some sailors based in Japan continue to log 100-hour weeks, often going without much sleep, a government watchdog reported Wednesday.

Manning shortages, maintenance and training neglect -- plus a bruising operational tempo — all came under public scrutiny last summer after two destroyer collisions in the Western Pacific killed 17 sailors assigned to 7th Fleet.

Navy reports also cited fatigue and crew shortages as factors in the twin tragedies involving the destroyers Fitzgerald and John S. McCain and a pair of commercial vessels.

Testifying on Capitol Hill, Government Accountability Office analyst John Pendleton said a team of investigators he led in November to interview 7th Fleet personnel saw improvements to the forward-deployed Navy’s systemic problems.

But the ongoing reforms are overworking sailors, too.

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