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Joseph Aucoin, Admiral Commanding 7th Fleet, To Be Removed After Collisions
24 August 2017, 02:56 | Clyde Nash
Remains found on US warship that collided off Singapore, US Navy says (VIDEO)
Aucoin was appointed to command the 7th Fleet in 2015.
Ten sailors assigned to the ship were missing following the accident, and the Navy has reported that "some" remains have been recovered, Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, said Tuesday.
US 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was relieved of duty Wednesday due to "a loss of confidence in his ability to command", Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift said.
The Navy said that Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, who had already been named as Aucoin's successor, would assume command immediately.
At least 10 USA sailors have been missing since the USS John S. McCaincollided Monday with an oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, near Singapore, one of the busiest shipping corridors in the world.
In a statement, the Navy said it had lost confidence in Vice Adm Aucoin's ability to command.
The incident triggered a rare worldwide "operational pause" of the US Navy's fleets as well as a review of operations.
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The main thing that each case has in common is what makes the Navy's dilemma so hard: the human element. "We're focused now on finding our missing sailors, and on supporting their families and the crew".
The USS John S McCain was east of Singapore when it collided with the oil tanker Alnic MC before dawn on Monday.
In June, the destroyer Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship off Japan.
In February, the USS Antietam, a guided-missile cruiser, ran aground near the USA base in Yokosuka, Japan, and in May the USS Lake Champlain, another Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, crashed into a South Korean fishing boat. The USS America is providing crew and berthing services to the McCain crew members and assisting with damage control efforts.
But a military unit needs military discipline - it's hard to strike a balance between a constructive culture and a dysfunctional one in a ship where men and women must work for months in close quarters while covering huge stretches of the empty Pacific.
The tanker involved in the collision, which was used for transporting oil and chemicals and weighed over 30,000 gross tonnes, sustained some damage but no crew were injured, and Singapore said there was no oil pollution. Meanwhile, divers were preparing to access compartments sealed in the aftermath of the collision as the ship's sailors struggled to sail the battered ship into port.
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