Leaders take questions at Naval Station Norfolk All Hands Call

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Chief of Naval Operations and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy were in Norfolk Wednesday to take questions from Sailors and Marines. It was part of an All Hands Call at Naval Station Norfolk.

The discussion ranged from readiness to ratings to hairstyles. On some minds — the Navy’s role after recent events overseas.

“With the Syrian and the North Korean conflict increasing, could you answer if we’re going to be called to those ships?” asked a sailor assigned to the USS George Washington, referring to those currently working in a shipyard.

Earlier this month, the USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group started moving toward the western Pacific to provide a presence near the Korean Peninsula.

“In regards to the recent Tomahawk strikes on Syria, if they were to respond with equal force, what do you think is the likelihood that Russia would join them?” another sailor asked.

Last week, the Navy’s USS Ross and USS Porter launched nearly 60 missiles at a government-controlled air base in Syria, in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians. CNO Adm. John Richardson said he visited the Ross in the days leading up to the strikes.

“Who knows what’s going to happen, but I do know that we have to be ready for the unexpected. We have to be ready for what could be a worse case than we might have predicted, and that’s the way we’re going to get our business done,” he said.

Richardson said he was expecting the questions about conflicts overseas, and is encouraged by them.

“They are thinking about it. It’s exactly what I want them to do, and to be ready for whatever challenge that can come their way,” he said to media gathered following the event.

The Navy recently grounded T-45 training jets due to concerns about oxygen. Richardson told WAVY News the Navy is going at the problem with everything they have and won’t bring them back until they are confident all is safe.

“It’s extremely important that we, one, do the mission, the training mission, but do it safely, so that nobody’s at risk, and so that’s where we are right now. We’re looking at some technical things that we can do to greatly reduce the risk there,” he said.