The top two officers and the top enlisted sailor who were aboard the destroyer USS Fitzgerald are among about a dozen sailors who will face discipline following an early-morning collision June 17 that killed seven crew members, a senior Navy officer said Thursday.
Adm. William F. Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, told reporters at the Pentagon that the majority of the punishments will be delivered Friday in Yokosuka, Japan, where the ship is. One sailor received an undisclosed administrative punishment Thursday. Moran declined to describe what occurred in the moments before the collision, saying that remains under investigation.
The discipline will include probable career-ending actions against Cmdr. Bryce Benson, the ship’s captain at the time, and his second-in-command, Cmdr. Sean Babbitt, Moran said. They and the senior enlisted sailor for the ship, Command Master Chief Brice A. Baldwin, will be removed as leaders of the ship permanently, Moran said.