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Thread: 17 sailors disciplined for Fitzgerald and McCain collisions

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    17 sailors disciplined for Fitzgerald and McCain collisions

    17 sailors disciplined for Fitzgerald and McCain collisions

    17, interesting. The same number as sailors killed in the two collisions. And the two captains and three others will still face courts-martial for negligent homicide. I am interested in seeing how that charge works with the captain of the Fitzgerald- he was asleep in his berth when the collision occurred. If it is found that he was lax in training his crew, is that enough to sustain a charge of negligent homicide?

    Seventeen sailors from the destroyers Fitzgerald and John S. McCain have received nonjudicial punishment for their roles in last summer’s West Pacific collisions that killed 17 sailors, officials confirmed Thursday.

    The Navy also plans to reverse a guilty verdict it handed out to an officer from the warship Fitzgerald for involvement in the June 17 collision off Japan that killed seven shipmates.

    ***

    This week, the CDA’s head, Adm. Frank Caldwell, held nonjudicial punishment proceedings for six sailors at the warships’ home port of Yokosuka, Japan.


    They included the Fitzgerald’s second-in-command and command master chief, as well as another officer.




    They were all found guilty of dereliction in the performance of duties and received a punitive letter of reprimand, according to the Navy.




    Caldwell also held hearings for three McCain sailors.




    He dismissed charges against one McCain officer and one enlisted sailor at NJP hearings this week.




    Caldwell found another enlisted sailor guilty of dereliction in performance of duties. That sailor received a letter of reprimand, forfeiture of half a month’s pay for two months and a reduction in rank, according to the Navy release.
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    Update: Navy drops charges against Fitzgerald CO in collision case

    The captain and another officer got a general officer letter of reprimand instead, effectively ending their Naval career.

    Two naval officers facing courts-martial following a fatal ship collision that killed seven sailors will have their charges dropped, Navy officials announced late Wednesday.

    Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson will withdraw and dismiss charges against Cmdr. Bryce Benson and Lt. Natalie Combs, ending a years-long legal battle following the 2017 collision between the guided-missile destroyer Fitzgerald and a container ship off the coast of Japan.



    Benson was the Fitzgerald's commanding officer at the time and Combs the tactical action officer. Navy Times first reported that Richardson would drop the charges on Wednesday.


    "This decision is in the best interest of the Navy, the families of the Fitzgerald Sailors, and the procedural rights of the accused officers," a Navy news release states. "Both officers were previously dismissed from their jobs and received non-judicial punishment."


    Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer will issue letters of censure to Benson and Combs, the release adds. Those reprimands are likely to end the officers' Navy careers.


    Benson and Combs faced charges of dereliction of duty through neglect, resulting in death and improper hazarding of a vessel. Navy officials had at one point considered negligent homicide charges against Benson and two junior officers, but the decision to pursue them was later dropped.


    A series of in-depth reports on the collision and the lead-up to it by ProPublica, a nonprofit that produces investigative journalism, revealed years of warning signs about the surface fleet's readiness had been ignored by top Navy leaders.


    The Fitzgerald was one of two destroyers to suffer deadly collisions in the Pacific that year. Ten more sailors were killed two months after the Fitzgerald accident when the destroyer John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Singapore.
    I suspect the Navy was worried about acquittals at a court-martial.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    Update: Navy drops charges against Fitzgerald CO in collision case

    The captain and another officer got a general officer letter of reprimand instead, effectively ending their Naval career.



    I suspect the Navy was worried about acquittals at a court-martial.
    I think they're afraid that the lack of time and funding for training will be exposed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    Update: Navy drops charges against Fitzgerald CO in collision case

    The captain and another officer got a general officer letter of reprimand instead, effectively ending their Naval career.
    I suspect the Navy was worried about acquittals at a court-martial.
    I blame the Navy itself. And the Congress.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexa View Post
    I think they're afraid that the lack of time and funding for training will be exposed.
    And the high Op-Tempo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    And the high Op-Tempo.
    Very true.

    Very chicken and egg, IMO.
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    The Navy has made many changes since the Fitzgerald and the John McCain (the other destroyer that had a fatal accident the same year). One was to give each sailor a set shift so they can get better sleep. In other words if you get stuck with the third shift, say 11pm to 7am, that is the shift you have for the entire cruise.

    That is better than jumping from one shift to another to fast.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexa View Post
    I think they're afraid that the lack of time and funding for training will be exposed.
    After 8 years of Obama neglect that would surprise no one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    The Navy has made many changes since the Fitzgerald and the John McCain (the other destroyer that had a fatal accident the same year). One was to give each sailor a set shift so they can get better sleep. In other words if you get stuck with the third shift, say 11pm to 7am, that is the shift you have for the entire cruise.

    That is better than jumping from one shift to another to fast.
    Really? That would totally suck, always having to lose rack time because ship is running drills on the day watch.

    The submarine fleet had three rounds if watch sanders and four scheduled watches a day, six hours each.

    The ONLY accident we had was when one if the dips hit officers couldn't make up his mind and through inaction ran us under the keel of another submarine. 100% his fault, because he was a dip$#@!.

    Because he was a known dipshut, the CO deserved to do share blame, and also got a letter of reprimand...and he was later promoted to a position b of safety as a captain of an Ohio class boat instead of risking a real submarine.

    And, naturally, the review board did their hardest to find enlisted men to blame instead. They failed.
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