Top officers of USS John McCain fired for 'poor judgement'

Top officers of USS John McCain fired for 'poor judgement'

Top officers of USS John McCain fired for 'poor judgement'

The US Navy on Tuesday fired the USS John S. McCain's top two officers, calling the warship's deadly August collision with a merchant vessel "preventable". Phil Sawyer, the commander of the Navy's Seventh Fleet.

"The commanding officer exercised poor judgment and the executive officer exercised poor leadership of the ship's training programme", the USS Seventh Fleet said in a statement released in Japan yesterday.

Commandeering officer Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez (left) and executive officer Cmdr. Sanchez, had been reassigned to new posts in the Navy.

The full findings of Singapore's investigations into the Aug 21 collision of McCain and Liberian-registered oil tanker Alnic MC will be made public once it is ready, Singapore's Transport Safety Investigation Bureau said last month.

According to multiple command surveys, a majority of Shiloh's sailors expressed dissatisfaction with the leadership of commanding officer Capt. Adam M. Aycock, who completed his two-year rotation in August and is now working at the U.S. Naval War College.

Both were fired "due to a lack of confidence".

Ten sailors were killed as crew berths, machinery, and communication rooms were flooded, and another five were injured.

The Seventh Fleet, based in Yokosuka, Japan, is the largest forward-deployed fleet in the US Navy, with some 50 to 70 vessels and submarines.

Following the collision, Singapore coordinated a search and rescue operation for the sailors with the US, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia covering 5,524 sq km, an area more than seven times the size of Singapore, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

It said Cmdr. Ed Angelinas, former commanding officer of the USS McCampbell, was named acting commanding officer of the McCain.

The McCain and Fitzgerald collisions have spotlighted issues in the Navy's 7th Fleet, headquartered out of Japan, as the wrecks underscore leadership failures and corroding training standards, based on Congressional testimony alluding to naval crews being overworked and spread thin.

Two months ago, seven United States sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship in Japanese waters near the port city of Yokosuka. Lt. Cmdr. Ray Ball, chief engineer of USS Antietam, will assume duties as acting executive officer.

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