SINGAPORE - While efforts continue in the search to locate their missing shipmates, Sailors from USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) are trying to regain some stability. Their Navy family is working to aid that process.
Initial assistance took the form of 155 beds on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), as well as basic clothes and toiletries for all those Sailors who needed them. America Sailors are currently providing meal services for John S. McCain Sailors, and assisting with operations aboard their sister ship.
Meanwhile the America’s chaplain and medical personnel are providing counseling and other support services to help the Sailors.
“I see our 7th Fleet leaders and our Navy community responding to the crisis effectively, caring for Sailors and families with full confidence that we will learn from this experience and bounce back to be stronger and better in every way,” said Capt. Gary W. Clore, Chaplain Corps, fleet chaplain, U.S. 7th Fleet.
The Navy also has a Special Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Team (SPRINT), which has arrived in Singapore. SPRINT provides short-term mental health support to Sailors immediately after a disaster. The goal is to prevent long-term unit and individual psychiatric dysfunction or disability.
Other counseling and medical resources are available to the Sailors and their families at nearby Sembawang Naval Base, and counselors are coming from Guam and Yokosuka as well to lend a hand.“This influx of support will be important as events unfold over the next few days,” said Lt. Cmdr. Carlos Coleman, Medical Service Corps, from the U.S. 7th Fleet Surgeon’s office.
Yesterday evening, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott Swift, announced that some remains of John S. McCain Sailors had been discovered.
“Although most people will spontaneously emotionally recover, there may be some that experience significant psychological distress and may need attention from mental health professionals,” Coleman said. “We want to do everything we can to help them manage the stress of this tragic event.”
The collision of the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) with Alnic MC on August 21 is being investigated to determine the facts and circumstances.
An Emergency Family Assistance Center has been established. Family members can call 046-816-1728 (commercial from Japan); 011-81-46-816-1728 (Commercial from US); 243-1728 (on base in Japan); or 315-243-1728 (DSN from Japan). Additionally, family can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.