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Navy fires two senior officers over deadly USS John McCain crash

Navy fires two senior officers over deadly USS John McCain crash

The U.S. Navy has relieved of duties the commander and executive officer of the USS John S. McCain, which collided with an oil tanker near Singapore in August.

The McCain's commanding officer, Cmdr.

According to the Navy, the commanding officer has been reassigned to Naval Forces Japan, while the executive officer was sent to the Ship Repair Facility in Yokosuka, where the 7th fleet is based. Alfredo J. Sanchez, and executive officer, Cmdr.

Sanchez, the executive officer, were said to have exercised poor "judgement" and "leadership", respectively, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement. The Navy's strict adherence to customs and traditions dictate that commanders be relieved of duty when superiors lose confidence in their leadership.

McCain was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel in August near Singapore.

In the other deadly collision in June, seven sailors were killed when guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged container ship collided off the coast of Japan. Vice-Admiral Joseph Aucoin who was a Seventh Fleet chief was removed after his ability to command was put into question, this was after the US Navy in August ordered a fleet-wide probe.

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In May, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain was struck by a South Korean fishing boat off the Korean Peninsula.

A guided-missile cruiser, Antietam had caused damage to its propellers while anchoring in Tokyo Bay in January.

Senior Navy officials told Congress that the service is committed to getting to the root of the issues that have contributed to the spate of collisions.

The bodies of seven United States sailors were found in a flooded berthing area after that collision.

Last month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report that the Navy has "increased deployment lengths, shortened training periods, and reduced or deferred maintenance to meet high operational demands, which has resulted in declining ship conditions and a worsening trend in overall readiness".


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