The commander and executive officer of the USS John S McCain were relieved of their duty today due to lost confidence after the warship and a tanker collided near Singapore in August.
The cause of the August 21 collision is still under investigation but the US Navy described it as preventable. The navy statement said Commander Alfredo Sanchez and the ship’s executive officer, Jessie Sanchez, were reassigned.
The accident, one of several in Asian waters recently, killed 10 US sailors and injured five more.
The commanding officer exercised “poor judgment,” and the executive officer displayed “poor leadership of the ship’s training program,” according to a statement issued Wednesday by the Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan.
The navy last month ordered a series of immediate changes in how its ships do business. The changes include more sleep for crews and no more 100-hour workweeks for sailors. Ships steaming in crowded waters, like those near Singapore and Tokyo, will now switch on their AIS, while ships on which crews lack basic seamanship certification will likely stay in port until the problems are fixed.
The USS John S McCain has been loaded onto a heavylift ship and is headed for repairs in Japan.