Navy 7th Fleet commander removed after series of accidents – Las Vegas Review-Journal

TOKYO The U.S. Navy dismissed the commander of the Asia-based 7th Fleet on Wednesday after a series of warship accidents raised questions about its operations in the Pacific.

A two-sentence statement said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, had relieved Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

The move follows four Navy accidents in the Pacific since late January, including two collisions that left sailors dead and missing.

While each of these four incidents is unique, they cannot be viewed in isolation, Swift said earlier.

He said the Navy will carry out a deliberate re-set of all its ships in the Pacific, focused on navigation, mechanical systems and bridge resource management. It will include training and an expert assessment of each ship.

The Navy said that Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, who had already been named as Aucoins successor, would assume command immediately.

On Monday, the destroyer USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided off Singapore, injuring five sailors and leaving 10 others missing. Seven sailors died in June when the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off Japan.

Swift, speaking Tuesday at a news conference in Singapore where the McCain is now docked, said Navy divers had found remains of some of the missing in a flooded compartment in the ship. He also said Malaysians assisting in the search had found a body, but it had not been determined if it wa....

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