Navy 7th Fleet Commander Relieved of Command Following Pacific Collisions

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin / Getty Images


The U.S. Navy announced this week that the Seventh Fleet commander has been relieved of command due to a "loss of confidence."

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was relieved of command in the wake of the most recent collision in the Pacific. On Monday, the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore.

Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift made the announcement in an official statement Tuesday.

Aucoin has been replaced by Rear Adm. Phil Sawyer, who has already been nominated and confirmed for the position. Sawyer assumed command immediately and was promoted to vice admiral.

The United States Seventh Fleet is based in Japan and includes both the USS John S. McCain and the USS Fitzgerald, another guided missile destroyer involved in a collision with a merchant vessel in June.

The Fitzgerald collision resulted in the death of seven Navy sailors, and the McCain collision has, to date, left 10 Navy sailors dead or missing. Several of the top officers aboard the Fitzgerald were relieved of shipboard duty.

Investigations are underway in both cases.

Jack Heretik

Jack Heretik   Email Jack | Full Bio | RSS
Jack is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He is from Northern Ohio and graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2011. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Jack was a Production Assistant for EWTN's The World Over and worked on Sen. Bill Cassidy's 2014 campaign.

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