Vehicles | August 23, 2017 9:39 am

Commander of 7th Fleet Relieved of Duty Following Destroyer Collision Mess

In three months, USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald both involved in collisions at sea.

Navy Relieves Commander of 7th Fleet of Duties
Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin, Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet (left) is greeted as he disembarks from the USS Blue Ridge in Shanghai on May 6, 2016. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Just a day after U.S. Navy Admiral John Richardson set in motion an “operational pause” to review and investigate the recent collisions at sea involving the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain, heads have rolled.

The Navy today announced that the commander of the 7th Fleet, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, had been relieved of his duties “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.” He will be replaced by Rear Admiral Phil Sawyer.

This comes on the heels of an incident involving the USS John S. McCain, a Navy guided-missile destroyer, colliding at sea with an oil tanker in Singaporean waters.

Yesterday, Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the Pacific Fleet, announced that some of the bodies of 10 missing sailors had been found by divers near the wreckage. Today, the Associated Press reported that families had identified the names of three of the missing sailors. In addition, five sailors were injured during the collision.

The USS John S. McCain incident marked the second deadly collision in three months—and the fourth in a little over a year.

Below, watch former Vice Admiral Aucoin give a short briefing on the USS Fitzgerald collision back in June.