The deadly collision involving the USS John S. McCain has cost the 7th Fleet commander his post.
The Navy relieved Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin of his command of the Pacific-based fleet over its fourth major mishap this year.
U.S. officials confirmed the commander of the Navy’s 7th Fleet was being removed after a series of warship accidents in the Pacific.
Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was dismissed due to a loss in “confidence in his ability to command,” Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement, USA Today reported. Rear Adm. Phil Sawyer will immediately take over.
One official told The Associated Press Wednesday that Vice Adm. Aucoin was being removed due to the leadership’s loss of confidence in his ability to command. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the decision.
At least 17 sailors have been killed in the four collisions, the latest happening Monday morning local time between the USS John McCain and an oil tanker near Singapore. Ten sailors are still missing two days after the collision, and the Navy reportedly has found some remains though no official casualty count has been released.
The 7th Fleet has 50 to 70 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft and about 20,000 sailors, AP reported.
• Sally Person contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.
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