The recently resigned acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s Monday trip to Guam where he addressed the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt and slammed their former commander, cost the Defense Department an estimated $243,000, according to a Navy official.
Modly’s remarks led to his resignation a day later.
The cost of the trip was first reported by USA Today.
Modly’s resignation came just over a week after Capt. Brett Crozier, the then-commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, sent a memo warning of coronavirus spreading among the sailors on the aircraft carrier.
The memo leaked, prompting Modly to remove Crozier from command and fly to Guam to address the ship in remarks that included calling Crozier “stupid”.
While not explicitly mentioning Modly or his resignation, the Navy’s top admiral, Chief of Naval Operation Adm. Mike Gilday, sent a message to the Navy on Wednesday acknowledging that “the events of the past week have been difficult for our Navy and our nation”.
“The events of the past week have been difficult for our Navy and our nation. We will learn from them. But make no mistake, we are moving forward. The Navy has our orders and we are executing them,” Gilday wrote.
Two-hundred eighty-six sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for coronavirus and 93 per cent of the ship’s crew have been tested as of Wednesday, according to the Navy.
Nearly a week after Modly fired Crozier for too widely disseminating a memo calling for the urgent evacuation of the ship’s crew, the Navy has only evacuated 2,329 of the aircraft carrier’s nearly 4,800 sailors.
The Navy initially said that it had intended to move 2,700 sailors ashore by April 3.
Officials say the process has been slowed due to testing as the government of Guam is requiring that sailors test negative before they can be moved into hotels on the island.
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