US Navy Fires 2 Commanders After Asia Sea Accidents

"Both reliefs were due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command," the Navy statement said.

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US Navy Fires 2 Commanders After Asia Sea Accidents

Two US navy officers were fired after Asia sea accident. (AFP file)

Washington:  The US Navy dismissed two senior officers on Monday after a series of collisions involving Seventh Fleet warships in Asia, citing a loss of confidence in their ability to command.

Rear Admiral Charles Williams, commander of Task Force 70, and Captain Jeffrey Bennett, commander of Destroyer Squadron 15, were fired by Seventh Fleet commander Vice Admiral Phil Sawyer, the Navy said. In August, Sawyer replaced fleet commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, who was fired after the accidents.

"Both reliefs were due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command," the Navy statement said.

The shakeup in the Seventh Fleet command followed a pre-dawn collision between guided-missile destroyer USS McCain and a merchant vessel east of Singapore and Malaysia on August 21, which killed 10 sailors and was the fourth major incident in the US Pacific Fleet this year.

In June, another destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a Philippine cargo ship, killing seven US sailors.

Several other officers have also been relieved, with administrative action taken against other members of the ship's watch teams.
© Thomson Reuters 2017


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