US Navy 7th Fleet commander dismissed after a series of ship collisions

Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin commander of the US 7th Fleet based in Japan

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin will be removed from his post as the commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, after two deadly collisions in the Pacific in just two months, according to the Navy.

"Admiral Scott Swift, commander of US Pacific Fleet, today relieved the commander of Seventh Fleet, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command", the US Navy said in a press release.

A spate of accidents involving the Navy's Pacific Fleet, including two deadly collisions in just over two months, are likely the result of human error, not mechanical malfunction, analysts and former Navy officers say.

Itar Glick, head of Israeli-based global cybersecurity firm Votiro, said the spate of incidents suggested that US Navy ships' GPS systems could have been tampered with by hackers, causing them to miscalculate their positions.

Yesterday the Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson ordered commanders within a week to set aside time, perhaps "one or two days", for crews to sit down together for discussions.

The Navy did not indicate exactly how long the operational pause will last, but said that the investigation will be conducted on "a tight timeline".

"Until we have exhausted any potential of recovering survivors or bodies, the search and rescue efforts will continue", he said.

On Tuesday, the Navy announced some remains had been located inside the McCain but that it's still working on identification. "The focus of the United States Pacific Fleet is our 10 missing sailors and their families", he said.

In June, the destroyer Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship off Japan that left seven sailors dead.

Jacob Drake, 21, of North Lewisburg, Ohio, was among the missing, according to a cousin, Brandie Roberts.

Family members of Dustin Doyon from CT confirmed that he was among the missing. Brandon said, "His father and I couldn't be prouder of our son". It is the largest of the U.S. Navy's forward deployed fleets and consists of 50-70 ships and submarines and around 20,000 sailors.

He added that, right now, the Navy has no indication that an intentional action was the cause. The USS America is providing crew and berthing services to the McCain crew members and assisting with damage control efforts.

Navy mishaps often emerge from judgment calls: A commanding officer, or CO, misjudges which young officers or sailors are ready to stand a crucial watch by themselves, putting people into positions of authority who aren't ready.

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