A crew member of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise left an unattended gun onboard the ship this week, prompting an investigation and concerns at Newport News Shipbuilding, where the nuclear-powered ship is being decommissioned.
Matt Mulherin, shipyard president, disclosed the incident Friday in a letter to his 23,700 employees, saying "we are taking this matter very seriously."
He said the owner of the gun was found, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the matter. However, NCIS determined charges were not warranted and turned the matter over to Enterprise command staff for possible disciplinary action, according to a Navy source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the case publicly. Neither the Navy nor the shipyard would identify the sailor by name or rank. They also did not disclose why the weapon was left unattended.
A shipyard employee found the gun, and Mulherin termed it "an isolated incident."