U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis today advocated for families of the fallen sailors aboard the USS McCain at a House Armed Services Committee (HASC) hearing. The hearing was focused on the tragic collisions of both the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain that took the lives of 17 sailors, including Petty Officer Logan Palmer of Decatur.
“I am grateful to the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) for allowing me to participate in today’s hearing and for the opportunity to be an advocate on behalf of the Palmer family,” said Davis. “I’m hopeful that the investigations into these tragic incidents will not only yield the answers families of the fallen deserve, but provide certainty to our sailors and their families that changes will be made to help prevent collisions like these from happening again. My colleagues and I will certainly be watching and following up. Additionally, I will continue to work with the Navy to provide better communication with the families and ensure we are not having to rely on an outside organization to fly the parents of a fallen servicemember to meet their child's body at Dover Air Force Base. We have to do better. This hearing also highlighted the importance of Congress and the president continuing our focus on providing adequate funding to rebuild our military and prioritize readiness, which has been depleted over the last several years.”
The committee heard testimony from Rear Admiral Upper Half Ronald A. Boxall, Director Surface Warfare, U.S. Navy; Admiral Bill Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy; and Mr. John H. Pendleton, Director, Defense Force Structure and Readiness Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Recently, Congress passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to end nearly a half-decade of cuts to our military and begins to rebuild, reduce wasteful Pentagon spending, and support our troops and their families.