Navy men throughout the nation have been mystified as to how a combat ship could allow a large cargo container ship to sneak up on it and ram it in the seas south of Yokosuka Japan. The USS Fitzgerald suffered such a fate and crewmen died. The investigation is not complete, heck, it is just getting started. However, the Navy has taken measures to relieve three of the senior staff of the Fitzgerald. Nine other sailors are pending charges.
As Written By Idrees Ali for REUTERS:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy will relieve the two senior officers and the senior enlisted sailor on a U.S. warship that collided with a Philippine container ship in June off the coast of Japan, the Navy said on Thursday,
A separate official report released on Thursday contained dramatic accounts of what happened when the freighter hit the USS Fitzgerald, killing seven Navy sailors.
Admiral Bill Moran, deputy chief of naval operations, told reporters that the USS Fitzgerald’s commander, executive officer and master chief petty officer would be removed. “We’ve lost trust and confidence in their ability to lead,” he said.
Moran said about another nine sailors would face administrative punishments, and he left open the possibility of further action.
While an investigation into the cause of the crash was still under way, Moran said there was enough evidence to take initial action.
“Serious mistakes were made by members of the crew, and there was no benefit to waiting on taking accountability actions,” Moran told reporters.
Multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations are still under way into how the Fitzgerald, a guided missile destroyer, and the much larger ACX Crystal container ship collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay in the early hours of June 17.
Under the maritime rules of the road, the commercial vessel had the right-of-way, and the Fitzgerald, which was hit on the starboard, or right, side was likely at fault.
One pertinent question, said two naval officers who spoke on condition of anonymity, is what was happening at the time in the Fitzgerald’s Combat Information Center, or CIC, where crew members monitor radar that should have detected the approach of a 30,000-ton cargo vessel.
The Navy also released a report with new details of the crash and its aftermath.
The collision tore a gash below the Fitzgerald’s waterline. The death of the seven sailors was the greatest loss of life on a U.S. warship since 2000, when Islamic extremists bombed the USS Cole in Yemen’s Aden harbor.
The report said the collision at 1:30 a.m. local time sent water pouring into the U.S. ……..
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