U.S. Navy to relieve Seventh Fleet commander after collisions in Asia: source


WASHINGTON/TOKYO (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy will relieve Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin after a series of collisions involving its warships in Asia, a U.S. official told Reuters, as the search goes on for 10 sailors missing since the latest mishap.

The move to replace Aucoin comes days after a pre-dawn collision between a guided-missile destroyer and a merchant vessel east of Singapore and Malaysia on Monday, the fourth major incident in the U.S. Pacific Fleet this year.

“An expedited change in leadership was needed,” the official said in Washington on Tuesday of the decision to relieve Aucoin of his command. (Graphic on ship collision – tmsnrt.rs/2ijfj9l)

The Navy declined to comment on any plans to relieve Aucoin, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The official told Reuters that Admiral Scott Swift, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, would relieve Aucoin, a three-star admiral, when the two meet in Japan later on Wednesday.

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