Navy dismisses 7th Fleet commander after Pacific ship crashes

Frederick Owens
August 24, 2017

On Tuesday, Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, said that some remains have since been recovered.

Aucoin is expected to be relieved of his command by the commander of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott Swift.

The Navy said that Rear Admiral Phillip Sawyer, who had already been named as Vice Admiral Aucoin's successor, would assume command immediately.

The McCain collision was the second in about two months, after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship on June 17. That announcement had been a reaction to the Monday collision involving the Navy destroyer John S. McCain and an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore.

The official said it was unclear why the crew couldn't use the ship's backup steering systems to maintain control. The remains were transferred to the U.S. military and identification efforts are underway, the U.S. Navy said.

Mr. Richardson, an admiral, in a video message posted to Twitter on Monday, said: "this trend demands more forceful action". Ten sailors were reported missing, but officials confirmed Tuesday that Navy divers had found the remains of some sailors in a flooded compartment. USS John S McCain was up and running nearly immediately after it was hit ...

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- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2017Cindy and I extend our deepest condolences to the families of the courageous USS John S McCain sailors whose lives were tragically lost. RIP. He said the crew responded quickly after the collision, righted the ship and prevented an even bigger disaster.

The news of the three-star admiral's removal comes on the heels of the Navy's announcement this week of a rare "operational pause" for its ships worldwide. In response to questions about the fleetwide review, Admiral Swift addressed speculations about whether technical failure, negligence or cyber attacks were to blame for the mounting number of ship collisions in the region.

Richardson also ordered a Navy-wide review to get at the "root causes" of the problems. But he noted that the investigation was in its earliest stages and said, "We are not taking any consideration off the table". We've seen no indications of that as of yet.

The Royal Malaysian Navy has located one body at sea, and officials are working to determine whether it is one of the missing sailors, he said. "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of those sailors and the families of the sailors who were injured".

Five countries - the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia - are now involved in the search covering an area of about 2,600 square kilometres (1,000 square miles).

"As a result of the collision Alnic MC sustained damage to her fore peak tank; there were no injuries to crew and no reported pollution of the Singapore Strait", the statement said.

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