USS John S. McCain Navy crash and what went wrong: Larry Korb
Former assistant Secretary of Defense Larry Korb discusses what may have caused the US Navy 7th Fleet crash
The commanding officer and executive officer of the USS John S. McCain were relieved of their duties on Tuesday, nearly two months after 10 sailors were killed when the U.S. Navy destroyer crashed into an oil tanker.
Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez and Cmdr. Jessie L. Sanchez were relieved of their positions “due to a loss of confidence,” the Navy said in a statement. Cmdr. Alfredo Sanchez was reassigned to Commander, Navy Forces Japan, and Cmdr. Jessie Sanchez was transferred to ship repair facility in Yokosuka.
“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,” the Navy said in its statement.
REMAINS OF ALL 10 MISSING SAILORS RECOVERED FROM USS JOHN S. MCCAIN
The bodies of all 10 missing sailors were recovered nearly a week after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore. Another five sailors were also injured in the crash. Heavy equipment were brought out to the vessel and divers went in to the flooded compartments to search for survivors and access the damage.
Shortly after the crash, the Navy fired the then-commander of the Japan-based 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, also citing lack of confidence.
The deadly crash prompted calls for a broader inquiry into the Pacific fleet after two deadly collision in two months. The USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided in Japan last June, killing seven sailors. In January, the USS Antietam ran aground near Yokosuka base in Japan, and in May the USS Lake Champlain had a minor collision with a South Korean fishing boat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.