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US Navy punishes 4 more sailors over collisions

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The US Navy has punished four more sailors over a string of deadly warship collisions that tarnished the force’s image last year. reports citing Press TV.

The administrative penalties were issued after hearings held at the Navy’s 7th Fleet’s base at Yokosuka, Japan on January 25 but the Pentagon waited until Monday to publicize them.

The decisions were related to the June 2017 collision of the USS Fitzgerald with a container ship off Japan and the August 2017 impact of the USS John McCain with an oil tanker off Singapore. At least seven sailors were killed in the first incident while the second one killed 10.

Handing down the sentences was Admiral James F. Caldwell who issued guilty verdicts for Fitzgerald’s executive officer Commander Sean Babbitt, its command master chief CMC Brice Baldwin and an additional officer, as well as for one enlisted sailor from the McCain on charges of dereliction in the performance of duties.

All of the sailors received formal letters of reprimand that are likely to block their future promotions and eventually lead to their dismissal.

This is the latest in a series penalties issued for the surviving crew of the warships as well as the commanders who had not taken enough action to prevent such incident.

Several senior officers, including the commander of the Seventh Fleet, have already been sacked as a result of the investigations.

Some Navy officials have cited frequent deployments, delayed maintenance, nearly a decade of budget constraints and reductions in resources devoted to training as factors contributing to such events.

US Navy vessels were also involved in three more major incidents in Asia last year. In January, the USS Antietam ran aground near its base in Japan, and in May, the USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel.

In November, The USS Benfold collided with a Japanese commercial tugboat in Sagami Bay.

The US has announced recently that new measures would be adopted by its forces to increase naval skills and alertness at sea.

2018.02.05 / 20:29
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