NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Navy is allowing sailors on the USS George Washington to move to off-ship housing in the wake of several deaths of sailors on the ship, some of which were by suicide.

Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. Robert Myers said in a statement via email that the sailors will be able to live at a “local installation.”

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier has been at Newport News Shipbuilding since 2017 undergoing a mid-life refueling and complex overhaul.

According to news reports, up to 260 sailors will be able to opt to live off-ship in temporary accommodations as early as Monday. Following that, the option will be open to an additional 50 sailors per week. News reports state about 400 sailors have been living onboard the ship.

The move will continue until all sailors who wish to live off-ship have moved. Only a limited number of sailors live full-time on the USS George Washington.

Some sailors are required to remain on the ship for essential duties such as running critical equipment, maintaining fire and flood watches, providing services to the crew, and conducting ship security.

All sailors regardless of their pay grade will be able to move off-ship if they wish. There will also be additional buses between the ship and temporary housing scheduled for sailors.

Myers continued: “Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (CNAL) has directed the command to identify Sailors who could benefit from and desire the support services and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) programs more readily available on our local installations, and are in the process of making temporary accommodations available to them. Leadership is actively implementing these and pursing a number of additional morale and personal well-being measures and support services to members assigned to USS George Washington (CVN-73).”

Military members can call the Military Crisis Line, which connects active-duty service members and veterans in crisis with Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential, toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255, Option 1), or text 838255.

For information on programs, events, presentations and support groups the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers, click here.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK.