Protection & Nationwide Safety — Navy faces psychological well being disaster after suicides

The Navy is investigating the suspected suicide deaths of 4 sailors all assigned to the identical ship upkeep middle in Virginia within the span of lower than a month — a improvement that comes on the heels of an earlier spate of sailor suicides in April in the identical state. 

We’ll share the main points of the investigation and the circumstances main as much as the suicides, plus the Pentagon’s consideration of increasing coaching of Ukrainian troops in Europe and the most recent regional headquarters for the House Pressure. 

That is Protection & Nationwide Safety, your nightly information to the most recent developments on the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and past. For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell.

4 sailors die by obvious suicide in lower than a month

The Navy and native authorities are investigating the suspected suicide deaths of 4 sailors all assigned to the identical ship upkeep middle in Norfolk, Va., within the span of lower than a month.  

All 4 had been assigned to Mid-Atlantic Regional Upkeep Middle (MARMC) at Naval Station Norfolk, the Navy confirmed to The Hill on Friday. 

Recognized: Essentially the most just lately deceased of the 4, Janelle Holder, was discovered lifeless on Nov. 26, in line with Lt. Cmdr. Rochelle Rieger, a public affairs officer with MARMC.  

The three different sailors, Kody Lee Decker, 22, of Virginia; Cameron Armstrong; and Deonte Autry, 22, of Monroe, N.C., died on Oct. 29, Nov. 5 and Nov. 14, respectively. 

Beneath investigation: “The circumstances surrounding these separate incidents are presently beneath investigation by native police departments and the U.S. Navy,” Rieger stated. 

‘Poisonous management’: Kayla Arestivo, a licensed counselor delivered to the middle in mid-November to assist sailors within the unit, instructed NBC Information that she “was inundated with the quantity of hopelessness at that command.” 

She added that “poisonous management” was a difficulty highlighted by the sailors she noticed, together with feeling overworked and undervalued by leaders. 

Timing: A Navy spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that Arestivo, who will not be sometimes on employees, was introduced in together with different specialists as a part of a suicide prevention stand-down at MARMC between Nov. 14-16.  

The stand-down included displays from totally different psychological well being organizations — together with the command’s personal suicide prevention coordinator — which all the middle’s assigned 3,000 sailors and civilian employees had been required to obtain, the spokesperson stated.   

Extra concerning the middle: About 1,500 uniformed sailors and 1,500 civilian employees are assigned to MARMC. Of the 1,500 sailors, about 500 are on restricted obligation for quite a lot of causes, together with psychological or bodily disabilities, are pregnant or postpartum moms unable to be stationed aboard a ship or are coping with private circumstances corresponding to a sick partner.  

All 4 sailors suspected of dying by suicide had been on restricted obligation, the spokesperson confirmed. 

Earlier tragedies: In April, three sailors assigned to the united statesGeorge Washington — about 30 miles away from Norfolk in Newport Information, Va. — died by suicide inside much less than per week of one another. 

Learn the total story right here 

Pentagon mulls growth of Ukraine forces coaching 

The Pentagon is contemplating increasing the coaching it supplies to Ukrainian forces because the nation’s battle with Russia drags on in its tenth month, in line with a number of experiences. 

Beneath the proposal, the U.S. navy would instruct as many as 2,500 Ukrainian troopers a month at an American base in Grafenwoehr, Germany, CNN reported on Wednesday. 

As navy operations are anticipated to sluggish with the onset of winter, the potential lull in combating might present a possibility to increase coaching efforts, U.S. officers instructed the outlet. 

Beneath dialogue: Ukraine has requested the coaching, which U.S. officers stated has been mentioned for weeks, The Washington Publish reported. 

Earlier efforts: The U.S. has beforehand skilled some Ukrainian troopers in Poland on the best way to use the weapons that it has been offering to the war-torn nation. In complete, the Biden administration has despatched greater than $19 billion in safety help to Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of the nation in February. 

The UK equally launched a program this summer season that aimed to supply fundamental navy coaching to 10,000 Ukrainians, with greater than 6,000 having already handed by way of this system. 

Learn the remaining right here 

House Pressure opens new regional base in Florida 

The House Pressure, the Pentagon’s latest navy service, activated on Friday its second regional headquarters in Tampa, Fla., beneath U.S. Central Command.  

U.S. House Forces-Central, opened at MacDill Air Pressure Base, “will play a major position in supporting Centcom’s rising want for space-based capabilities corresponding to satellite tv for pc navigation, communications and missile warnings” within the Center East and central Asia, in line with a Wednesday launch from the command. 

What it should do: The brand new regional headquarters is supposed to place extra give attention to space-related protection points inside Centcom and can perform all house operations throughout the command’s space of duty.   

  • Led by Col. Christopher Putman, the 28-person employees is supposed to “work with allies and companions to combine house actions into shared operations,” Centcom famous. 
  • “Simply because the evolution of house as a warfighting area necessitated the institution of a separate service, SPACECENT supplies Centcom a subordinate command targeted solely and constantly on house integration throughout the command – with all domains and all elements,” Putman stated within the launch. 

Increasing: That is additionally the House Pressure’s second geographically targeted service element. The navy department on Nov. 23 activated U.S. House Forces Indo-Pacific at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.   

The House Pressure, created in 2019 as a separate navy department throughout the Division of the Air Pressure, is tasked with coaching troops to guard and function U.S. space-based belongings together with satellites and conduct space-based missions. 

Learn that story right here 


  • The Stimson Middle will host a discussion board on “Voices from Japan: Japan’s Nationwide Safety Technique within the Period of Strategic Competitors,” at 8:30 a.m.  
  • The Johns Hopkins College Paul H. Nitze College of Superior Worldwide Research, will maintain a dialog on “Russia’s Battle in Ukraine: An Finish in Sight?” at 12:30 p.m. 
  • The Brookings Establishment will maintain a chat on “Nonstate armed actors in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria,” at 1 p.m. 
  • The Atlantic Council, will host a dialogue on “Central European companions and allies in a time of battle,” at 2 p.m. 
  • Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will communicate on the Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research on “The Convergence of Nationwide Safety and Homeland Safety,” at 2:30 p.m. 


That’s it for immediately. Take a look at The Hill’s Protection and Nationwide Safety pages for the most recent protection. See you Monday.