The commander and executive officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain were relieved of duty Wednesday, two months after a deadly collision claimed 10 lives.
Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez and his executive officer, Cmdr. Jessie L. Sanchez, were relieved of their duties by Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of the Seventh Fleet, in Yokosuka, Japan.
“While the investigation is ongoing, it is evident the collision was preventable, the commanding officer exercised poor judgement, and the executive officer exercised poor leadership of the ship’s training program,” the Navy said in a statement.
The destroyer collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC in the early morning hours of Aug. 21 off the coast of Singapore and Malaysia, east of the heavily traveled Strait of Malacca.
Cmdr. Ed Angelinas, former commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell, assumed duties as acting commanding officer. Lt. Cmdr. Ray Ball, chief engineer of the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam, will assume duties as acting executive officer.
The damaged ship is being moved from Singapore to the giant Navy base at Yokosuka for extensive repairs.
The Navy fired the commander of the Seventh Fleet shortly after the McCain collision amid a series of crashes and other mishaps.
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