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McCain CO, XO Relieved of Duties

14 October 2017

"While the investigation is ongoing, it is evident the collision was preventable, the commanding officer exercised poor judgment, and the executive officer exercised poor leadership of the ship's training program".

Cmdr. A. Sanchez was reassigned to Commander, Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ) and Cmdr.

The Navy has relieved the two top officers of the destroyer USS John S. McCain two months after it collided with a Liberian-flagged oil tanker while transiting to Singapore, killing 10 sailors on board and injuring five others. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build maritime partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict. The Navy statement said Cmdr.

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The crash killed 10 United States sailors and injured five more. Sanchez, the executive officer, were said to have exercised poor "judgement" and "leadership", respectively, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement.

The U.S. Navy in August ordered a fleet wide probe and removed Seventh Fleet chief Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, citing a lack of confidence in his ability to command. It followed the collision of the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship in waters off Japan in June, which killed seven sailors.

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. Navy officials concluded that the damage sustained by the McCain could be repaired in Japan which will allow sailors assigned to the ship and their families to stay nearby and not relocate to a stateside fix site. J. Sanchez was reassigned to Ship Repair Facility (SRF) Yokosuka. It said Cmdr. Ed Angelinas, former commanding officer of the USS McCampbell, was named acting commanding officer of the McCain.

McCain CO, XO Relieved of Duties