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Former commanders face charges of negligent homicide for lethal collisions with the Navy



"After careful deliberation, today Admiral Frank Caldwell announced that the Uniform Code of Military Justice charges are being preferred against individual service members in relation to collisions," said a Navy statement.

A martial trial will be convened to review the evidence supporting possible criminal charges against several members of the USS Fitzgerald, according to the service.

"The ranks of the members include a commander (the commander), two lieutenants and a junior lieutenant, charges include abandonment of duty, danger of a ship and negligent homicide," the Navy said.

The collision between the Fitzgerald, a guided missile destroyer, and the ACX Crystal on June 17, 2017 claimed the lives of seven American sailors. It took place 56 nautical miles off the coast of Honshu, Japan, in an area heavily trafficked by commercial vessels.

For the USS John S. McCain, a martial trial, or an Article 32 hearing, will be convened to review the evidence supporting possible criminal charges against a commander, the commander, the Navy said.

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"The charges include negligence in the performance of duty, danger of a ship and homicide by negligence, preferred and pending reference to a forum for a principal noncommissioned officer," the service added.

Ten sailors died when the USS John S. McCain, a guided missile destroyer of the Arleigh Burke class with the Liberian flag merchant ship Alnic MC on August 21, 2017

"The announcement of an Article hearing 32 and the referral to a court martial is not intended and does not reflect a determination of guilt or innocence related to any crime, "said US Navy Captain Gregory Hicks. "All persons who allegedly committed misconduct are entitled to a presumption of innocence."

The Navy also said that there will be additional administrative actions for the members of both crews, including the non-judicial punishment of four members of the Fitzgerald crew and four John S. McCain.

Another Navy Admiral retires early

Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Thomas Rowden also announced on Tuesday that he will leave his post on January 18 after the fatal incidents last year.

"I have informed the chief of naval operations that this Thursday I will step aside earlier than previously planned as commander of the Surface Naval Forces and commander of the Naval Surface Force of the Pacific Fleet of the USA. . ", Rowden said in a statement.

"It was a difficult decision to make, but I take it taking into account the best interest of the surface warfare community and the Navy," the statement said.

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Rowden is the last senior officer of the Pacific Fleet to leave his post earlier than expected after the two fatal collisions that killed 17 Navy sailors.

All the management of the 7th Fleet of the US Navy UU And the larger Pacific Fleet has come under greater scrutiny following the incidents involving the USS John S. McCain and the USS Fitzgerald.

In August, the Navy took the unprecedented step of firing the 7th Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, from the command.

Data submitted by the Office of Government Accountability in response to questions from Rep. Joe Courtney, a Connecticut Democrat, confirmed CNN's previous reports that the McCain and Fitzgerald teams did not meet the key training qualifications prior to the incidents that happened this summer.
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the fatal accidents of the destroyers, along with two collisions of navy cruisers in the Pacific last year, led to the removal of Aucoin, as well as multiple revisions on the way the Navy trains, maintains and deploys its fleet, which is very thin.

Rowden was expected to retire but has changed his game.

"In December, the Senate confirmed Rear Admiral Richard Brown as the next commander of the Surface Naval Forces and the Surface Naval Force, the United States Pacific Fleet, the surface war community will be in good hands and that Rich is an excellent and talented naval officer, "Rowden said.

"In this work, I've spent three and a half years traveling the world spending time with our surface force and the men and women who bring life, energy and purpose to our ships. I loved it," he said. added


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