Newport News, Va. (Aug. 22, 2015) The aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford sits in the final stages of construction at the Newport News Naval Shipyard on Aug. 22. A chief petty officer select from the ship died after collapsing on Sept. 15 during a run leading up to the Sept. 16 Navy-wide chief's pinning. Photo by Mark D. Faram Times staff
A first class petty officer one day shy of pinning on chief anchors died the Tuesday morning after collapsing during morning of Sept. 15 during a routine run with fellow chief petty officer selectees.
The chief petty officer selectee was assigned to the carrier Gerald R. Ford, which is under construction at Newport News shipyard near Norfolk, Va.Virginia. Officials have notified next of kin, but will not release the sailor's name until 24 hours after that notification.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the sailor in this difficult time," Cmdr. Mike Kafka, spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic, said in a press release. "Out of respect for their privacy, we will not release the name of the Sailor until 24 hours after they have been notified."
The sailor and fellow CPO selectees had just started a 1.5-mile run at Fort Monroe, a former Army base that is a short distance from the shipyard. The group was conducting additional training as part of the annual chief's season, formally known as Phase 2 of the CPO 365 training regimen, which typically includes runs and other exercises to train chief selectees. Kafka told Navy Times. The sailor collapsed at the beginning of the run. Corpsmen from Ford were on hand and began immediate treatment. The sailor was transported to Sentara Hospital in Hampton, where he was pronounced dead.
An investigation is underway, AIRLANT said.
The highly unusual chief's season death sadly came one day before more than 4,000 first class petty officers will pin on their anchors, in a culmination of the chief's season training. The deceased was one of 45 sailors aboard Ford who were selected to advance to chief.
An ongoing Global Posture Review and a 2022 update to the National Defense Strategy will provide the U.S. Navy more clarity on what its roles and expectations will be in an increasingly competitive maritime space.
The Navy and Boeing paired their unmanned tanker with the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter for the first time, with the drone refueling its third aircraft type since June as it heads towards shipboard testing and the standup of the first MQ-25A squadron later this year.