US Navy to relieve commander after collisions in Asia

Image USS John McCain

US Navy to relieve commander after collisions in Asia

A broader U.S. Navy review will look at the 7th Fleet's performance, including personnel, navigation capabilities, maintenance, equipment, surface warfare training, munitions, certifications and how sailors move through their careers.

The U.S. Navy on Wednesday relieved Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin of his duties after two fatal collisions involving warships in Asia in less than three months.

The Navy said that Rear Admiral Phillip Sawyer, who had already been named as Vice Admiral Aucoin's successor, would assume command immediately. Ten sailors were reported missing, but officials confirmed Tuesday that Navy divers had found the remains of some sailors in a flooded compartment.

This follows an incident Monday in which the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship.

Admiral John Richardson, U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations, has called for a global operational pause after the last incident as well as an operational review and a comprehensive review.

The sailors are feared dead as US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift has announced that divers searching for the missing service members have found human remains in the warship. "We're in the process of effecting a transfer of that body so that we can start the identification process and determine whether it's one of the missing sailors or not", Swift told a press conference that was streamed live over the US Pacific Fleet's Facebook page.

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It said the search area at sea will be expanded.

An investigatoin into why the John McCain (pictured after collision) was hit is ongoing.

"We have a report that [the Malaysian Navy] have found a body".

The Singapore government said no crew were injured on the Liberian-flagged Alnic, which sustained damage to a compartment at the starboard, or right, side at the front of the ship some 7 meters (23 feet) above its waterline.

April Brandon in MI said the military informed her that her son Ken Smith is missing. In January, the USS Antietam guided missile cruiser ran aground near Yokosuka base, the home port of the 7th Fleet, and in May another cruiser, the USS Lake Champlain from the Navys 3rd Fleet, had a minor collision with a South Korean fishing boat.

There were two lesser-known incidents in the first half of the year. She said her son's father, stepmother and grandfather served in the Navy.

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