Admiral 'facing the axe' after US Navy collisions

Mandy Carr
August 24, 2017

According to reports, US Navy Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was dismissed due to the loss of confidence. The subsequent investigation led the Navy to relieve the Fitzgerald's commanding officer and several others of duty over the crew's actions.

Naval ships from Singapore and Malaysia were aiding the U.S. Navy in a massive search that was continuing Tuesday, Swift said. The crash injured five and left 10 American sailors missing.

The USS John S. McCain and a tanker collided Monday off Singapore and the remains of some missing sailors have been found. Swift said four had been immediately flown by Singapore navy helicopters to a Singapore hospital, and the fifth was hospitalized when the ship reached Singapore. He did not know if any BIW employees would be deployed for repairs on the McCain.

The mother of a Texas sailor said her son, John Hoagland, was among the missing and had served aboard the warship since October.

The dead sailors, aged 19 to 37, were found by divers in flooded sleeping berths a day after the collision tore a huge gash in the ship's side. "It is clear that the damage control efforts of the crew saved the ship and saved lives".

The incidents have sparked concern that the US Navy could be overstretched in East Asia - both ships were from the Japan-based Seventh Fleet - as they tackle China's rising assertiveness and North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

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"While each of these four incidents is unique, they can not be viewed in isolation", Swift said late Tuesday.

The Navy's top officer on Monday ordered a pause in operations around the world.

Meanwhile, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., whose father and grandfather were the namesakes for the destroyer damaged in the deadly Singapore collision, said the Navy must get this right.

Richardson said in a video statement that the Navy would look at everything it needs to across the board in order to get a sense of how to be of the best help to crews.

"My last text to him was "be safe", which is the same way we end every conversation".

"I was on the McCain this morning and looking at the eyes of those sailors, and even after their heroic efforts yesterday, I didn't see exhaustion", he said. But his relief from command shows the Navy's focus on accountability in the wake of the incidents this year involving the USS John S. McCain, USS Fitzgerald, USS Lake Champlain and the USS Antietam.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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