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War ship collision fourth since January for US navy

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The collision on Monday of the destroyer USS John S. McCain with a commercial vessel, the Alnic MC, as the McCain headed for a port visit in Singapore is the fourth since January for the US navy.

That accident followed the destroyer USS Fitzgerald’s June 17 collision with another commercial ship, killing seven sailors.

Two other accidents within the U.S. Seventh Fleet’s area of responsibility occurred earlier this year, said The Journal.

In May, the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel, and in January, another cruiser, the USS Antietam, ran aground near its port in Yokosuka.

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As a result of these accidents – some blamed on malfunctioning equipment or on stressed sailors within the US navy – the U.S. Navy plans to remove the commander of the fleet that has suffered the four recent collisions in Asia and the deaths of several sailors, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the three-star commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan, will be relieved of command on today in connection with four collisions since January, including two fatal ones.

Vice Adm. Aucoin was expected to retire in coming weeks, but under the Navy’s tradition of public accountability, commanders or ship captains are dismissed as soon as their superiors lose confidence in their leadership, said the Journal.

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