Navy commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin has been dismissed from his duties after the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet suffered two deadly collisions in less than three months.
The Navy cited a loss of confidence in Aucoin’s ability to command, the Associated Press reported.
The 7th Fleet has been involved in three collisions since January, and the last two resulted in the deaths of 17 sailors.
The USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker before dawn on Monday near Singapore. Ten sailors were initially reported missing, but Navy divers found the remains of several sailors in a flooded compartment on Tuesday.
In June, seven sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship in waters off Japan.
In January, the USS Antietam guided missile cruiser ran aground near Yokosuka base, the home port of the 7th Fleet; and in May, another cruiser, the USS Lake Champlain from the Navy’s 3rd Fleet had a minor collision with a South Korean fishing boat.
In a news conference on Tuesday, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift told reporters that each of the incidents was “unique,” but noted that “they cannot be viewed in isolation.”
Swift said that the Navy would conduct an investigation “to find out if there is a common cause … and if so, how do we solve that.”
— 7th Fleet (@US7thFleet) August 23, 2017
On Monday, Navy Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, ordered a pause in 7th Fleet operations for a few days to allow commanders to get together with leaders, sailors and command officials and identify any immediate steps that needed to be taken to ensure safety.
A broader U.S. Navy review will look at the 7th Fleet’s performance, including personnel, navigation capabilities, maintenance, equipment, surface warfare training, munitions, certifications and how sailors move through their careers. According to Richardson, the review will be conducted in conjunction with the Navy’s office of the inspector general, the safety center and private companies that make equipment used by sailors.
If you would like to receive Breaking News text alerts on a smartphone or tablet, download the DML APP which is completely FREE and easy to use. Go to the Google Play Store or the IOS App Store and search for DML APP. Be sure to keep the app’s notifications setting on. Another way to receive alerts is to text to 40404 the following message: follow @realdennislynch (be sure to put a space between the word follow and the @ symbol).
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.
Trump Tweets: Honoring Border Patrol & Military