The accident that the destroyers USS John S. McCain not only did it lead to a deadly accident, but also to the officers in charge of it losing their jobs
Earlier this year, the guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship off Singapore, leaving 10 US sailors dead, while five more were severely injured. The accident left a large, visible hole in the ship.
The commanding officer, Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez, and executive officer, Cmdr. Jessie L. Sanchez were “relieved due to a loss of confidence.”
“While the investigation is ongoing, it is evident the collision was preventable, the commanding officer exercised poor judgment, and the executive officer exercised poor leadership of the ship’s training program,” a US statement said
This accident was the fourth to involve a US warship in the Pacific this year. Senior Navy officials told Congress that they are committed to get to the root of the issues that have led to the spate of collisions.
“We ask the sailors to do an awful lot … and perhaps we’ve asked them to do too much,” Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran told the House Armed Services Committee at a hearing on the collisions in September. “That’s what the comprehensive review will look at.”
Navy Richard V. Spencer told lawmakers that failed leadership and lack of resources were also contributing factors to the collisions.
“We have a problem in the Navy and we are going to fix it,” Spencer said.