Navy relieves of duties top officers of USS John S. McCain after collision

The damaged port aft hull of USS John S. McCain, left, is seen while docked next to USS America at Singapore’s Changi naval base on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Singapore. The focus of the search for 10 U.S. sailors missing after a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters shifted Tuesday to the damaged destroyer’s flooded compartments. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

TOKYO (AP) — The U.S. Navy has relieved of duties the commander and executive officer of the USS John S. McCain, which collided with an oil tanker near Singapore in August.

The Navy said in a statement Wednesday that Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez, and executive officer, Cmdr. Jessie L. Sanchez, were relieved of their duties due to a loss of confidence.

The crash killed 10 sailors and injured five more. It was one of several accidents that have raised concern over the safety and operational effectiveness of naval vessels.

The Navy statement said it was “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 fired the commander of the Japan-based 7th Fleet shortly after the McCain’s crash.

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