WASHINGTON (NNS) -- We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our fellow shipmates as a result of Friday's collision between USS Fitzgerald and a commercial container ship, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families.
As details emerge, we can all be proud of the heroic effort by the crew to tend to the needs of those injured and save the ship from further damage while returning safely to port.
The Navy family comes together during tragic events such as this and I want to thank those who continue to provide around-the-clock assistance to the affected families during these difficult days.
I also want to express my most heartfelt appreciation to our Japanese allies for their swift support and assistance at this time of our need.
In due time, the United States Navy will fully investigate the cause of this tragedy and I ask all of you to keep the Fitzgerald families in your thoughts and prayers as we begin the task of answering the many questions before us.