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Navy's top brass meets with local sailors

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sailors at Naval Air Station Jacksonville got a chance to ask some questions to one of their highest leaders as Adm. John Richardson, the new Chief of Naval Operations, made his first trip to Florida for an all-hands call Tuesday morning.

Richardson took over two weeks ago and said he wanted to go to bases around the country to spend time hearing from the sailors.

He took questions from sailors for about 45 minutes, covering a wide variety of topics that the sailors thought were important to the Navy.

The CNO and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, the highest enlisted officer in the Navy, answered questions ranging from food, to maternity leave, to sailors with concealed carry permits being allowed to carry their guns on base, an issue the CNO said that at this time, was not going to happen.

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"It really needs detailed analysis. We are being very deliberate as we move forward with this, addressing all of the challenges that situation presents," Richardson said.

The first question of the day came from sailor Latisha Summers, wanting a change in the promotion structure.

"It's a work in progress. Nothing is going to change right now. I didn't expect to get a definite yes right now, but hopefully we will see some positive feedback," Summers (pictured below) said.

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Richardson also tried to ease concerns of furloughs, saying that everybody is hopeful that there will not be a government shutdown. He also talked about continuing ethics concerns, saying that it is on everyone to look out for each other and make sure everybody is representing the Navy in the best way.

The CNO called Jacksonville a valuable asset to the Navy, saying the timeline for the new Littoral Combat Ship fleet is still scheduled to start arriving in Mayport next year.

He also said that in the future, the possibility of an aircraft carrier returning to the area hasn't been ruled out.

"When the conditions permit, from a strategic laydown standpoint, it's addressed. I think at the right time, we will give that full consideration," Richardson said.

After Richardson left NAS Jacksonville he headed out to Naval Station Mayport and held a similar all-hands call with sailors on that base as well.