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WASHINGTON (Sept. 16, 2013) An undated file photo of an aerial view of the Washington Navy Yard. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
An undated file photo of an aerial view of the Washington Navy Yard. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Washington Navy Yard Recovery Task Force Getting Mission Done, Caring For Navy Team

By The Honorable Dennis V. McGinn
Commander, Washington Navy Yard Recovery Task Force

It has been one month since the tragic events of September 16 at the Washington Navy Yard.  We continue to grieve and heal, but in recovering from this tragedy, every day that goes by and our critical mission continues, our Navy team is stronger. We can take great solace that together we are getting the mission done while caring for each other.

Last week, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus established the Washington Navy Yard Recovery Task Force and directed me to lead a comprehensive, Navy-wide effort to restore the Department of the Navy commands and all personnel affected by the tragedy to full mission capability. My greatly talented and dedicated deputy commander in this effort is Vice Adm. Bill French, Commander Naval Installations Command. Admiral French has been at the leadership forefront of recovery efforts from the very first day.

These are the main areas that task force members are focused on at this time:

  1.  The proper coordination of physical and behavioral health care needs of all individuals affected by the tragedy.
  • The Emergency Family Assistance Center on board Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and Employee Staff Counseling and Assistance Center were established following the tragic shootings at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16. Since then, almost 10,000 people have been assisted. On Oct. 4, we transitioned to the following support options to provide continuing and enduring care:
  • Information on support services is available at 1-855-677-1755.
  • Effective Oct. 7, Federal Occupational Health moved its operations to Washington Navy Yard, located at building 111, 2nd floor, room 204-D. The office is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Directional signs are posted in the building. Federal Occupational Health is the primary counseling service for most Navy Yard employees, including Naval Sea Systems Command and Naval Facilities Engineering Command employees.
  • For chaplaincy services, please contact the chapel at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling at 202-767-5900 or DSN 297-5900.
  • We appreciate all the organizations that provided support services to our employees and their families.
  1. Recovering personal effects from the crime scene.
  • We continue to retrieve and inventory personal effects left in building 197. For those individuals who worked on the 5th Floor and submitted a “Missing Item Retrieval Form,” those items are ready for release. Employees can pick up the personal effects on the ground floor of building 201.
  • Washington Navy Yard commands will notify employees, as additional personal effects are available for pick up.
  1. Establishing temporary spaces for displaced commands.
  • Naval Sea Systems Command personnel are relocating into temporary spaces, including the former Coast Guard headquarters at Buzzard Point.  The 850,000 square-foot building, dubbed “NAVSEA West” by leadership will have the capability to hold 2,300 of Naval Sea Systems Command’s building 197 occupants.
  1. Coordinating donation offers.

Bottom line: The Washington Navy Yard Recovery Task Force is fully up to speed and hard at work getting the mission done and caring for our Navy team. We will be here until the mission is completed.

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