UPDATE: US Navy sacks fleet commander after crash

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UPDATE: US Navy sacks fleet commander after crash
Vice Adm Joseph Aucoin was due to retire from his position in the coming weeks.
Vice Adm Joseph Aucoin was due to retire from his position in the coming weeks.

(BBC) – The US Navy has dismissed Vice Adm Joseph Aucoin as commander of the Seventh Fleet following a string of collisions involving warships in Asia.

Ten sailors are still missing after the USS John S McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore on Monday.

Navy officials say human remains have since been found in sealed compartments on board the ship, which is now in port in Singapore.

The crash was the fourth such incident in a year.

In a statement, the Navy said it had lost confidence in Vice Adm Aucoin’s ability to command.

The Seventh Fleet, based in Yokosuka, Japan, is the largest forward-­deployed fleet in the US Navy, with some 50 to 70 vessels and submarines.

Vice Adm Aucoin, who has been its commander since 2015, was due to retire within weeks. His designated successor will replace him immediately.

His removal is the latest in a series of steps taken by Navy officials after the USS John S McCain collision. It is not clear when a formal announcement will be made.

The incident triggered a rare worldwide “operational pause” of the US Navy’s fleets as well as a review of operations.

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