Capt. Brent Scott, fleet chaplain, U.S. Pacific Fleet Command,
visited the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George
Washington (CVN 73), Aug. 2.
Scott held a candid and open discussion
with George Washington Sailors during his visit to discuss the
arduous challenges of forward-deployed life.
“What we wanted is an open and honest dialogue,” said Scott. “The
forward-deployed Navy has different expectations than the rest of
the fleet and we want to know what can the Pacific Fleet do better
for the forward-deployed Sailor. We are focusing more on the people
than the issue because the Sailor is the solution.”
Fifteen Sailors volunteered to participate in the discussion and
talked about various issues and concerns, including staying in the
Navy, alcohol abuse, sexual abuse and suicide.
“I was pleased with the visit because our Sailors were mature,
cogent and thoughtful, and they gave great responses,” said Cmdr.
Dan Mode, George Washington’s command chaplain. “This visit was all
about talking to the Sailors and getting feedback about the issues
on their minds and I think we got a great result.”
Scott’s visit to George Washington marked one of the first stops of
a tour taking him across the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility,
where he will conduct similar discussions with Sailors across the
Pacific area of operations.
“The Navy invests in posters, commercials and training regarding
some of these issues but they aren’t completely effective across the
board,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Paul Settle, from Houston,
one of the Sailors that participated in the discussion. “It’s not as
effective as it could be because they’re all from superior to
subordinate and the Sailors feel talked down to. The Navy is trying
to do something about these issues on a personal level by sending a
representative to talk to us as human beings, not like subordinates,
and by doing that the participation and education is considerably
By visiting fleet concentration areas within the forward-deployed
naval forces, Scott can get a cumulative read on Sailors’ concerns
throughout the area and return them to the Pacific Fleet leadership.
George Washington is currently pier side in Yokosuka and is making
preparations to return to sea. George Washington and its embarked
air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force
that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the
U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.