More Navy Leaders Ousted After Deadly Collisions in 7th Fleet
Tugboats from Singapore assist the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain as it steers towards Changi Naval Base, Singapore on on Aug. 21, 2017 following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding.Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton / U.S. Navy
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Two more leaders in the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet were relieved of their commands following a string of deadly collisions involving warships in recent months, the Navy announced Monday.
Rear Adm. Charles Williams, the commander of Task Force 70, and Capt. Jeffrey Bennett, the commander of Destroyer Squadron 15, were relieved of their duties "due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command," the Navy said in a statement.
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That collision was the fourth in a year involving a U.S. Navy vessel.
Another destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan in June, killing seven U.S. sailors.
In May, the USS Lake Champlain hit with a South Korean fishing boat off the Korean peninsula. And last year, the USS Louisiana collided with the USNS Eagleview, a Navy support vessel, off the coast of Washington State. No one was injured in either incident.
The terminations announced Monday were the second such round following the two latest deadly crashes.