The U.S. Navy relieved the 7th Fleet’s commanding officer in the wake of yet another collision between an American warship and a commercial vessel on Wednesday. The most recent crash resulted in ten sailors missing, some of whom have since been confirmed dead.
“Admiral Scott Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, today relieved the commander of Seventh Fleet, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the U.S. Navy said in a press release.
Since January, there have been four high profile incidents involving U.S. Navy vessels colliding with commercial ships or running aground. The severity of these incidents is compounded by tensions in the 7th Fleet’s area of operation, the Pacific Ocean, where relations between the growing Naval power China are strained, and the possibility of war with North Korea remains looming.
Admiral Swift then promoted Rear Admiral Phil Sawyer, the Pacific Fleet’s deputy commander, to the command level position. He was already slated to take on the new role, but was not scheduled to assume the post until next month.