Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Navy relieves two officers of duty following deadly USS McCain crash

Navy relieves two officers of duty following deadly USS McCain crash

A spate of U.S. naval collisions this year has resulted in a major leadership shake up in the U.S. Navy in Asia as it tackles increased tensions with North Korea and engages in operations in the South China Sea that challenge Beijing's growing control of the waterway.

"Both were relieved due to a loss of confidence", it said in a statement. Ten American Sailors died and five others were injured. Alfredo J. Sanchez, left, and executive officer, Cmdr.

The accidents prompted the dismissal of the Navy's 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, as well as multiple reviews of the way the Navy trains, maintains and deploys its fleet. In June, another destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, also struck a container ship off the coast of Japan, drowning seven sailors in the ship's breached berthing compartment.

In May, a South Korean fishing vessel collided with the guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain, while another guided-missile cruiser, Antietam, damaged its propellers in January while anchoring in Tokyo Bay.

Some Navy officials have put the collision down to strains from regular extended deployments, delayed maintenance and budget constraints, including reductions in resources devoted to training.

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It said: "While the investigation is ongoing, it is evident the collision was preventable, the commanding officer exercised poor judgement, and the executive officer exercised poor leadership of the ship's training programme".

Alfredo Sanchez assumed duties as the McCain's executive officer in April 2015 and became the ship's commander in September 2016.

McCain Cmdr. A. Sanchez, was reassigned to the headquarters of Naval Forces Japan and Cmdr.

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

The Navy statement said USS John S. McCain Cmdr. Ray Ball will become acting executive officer.

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