Aug. 23 (UPI) — After two major warship collision that killed several sailors, the Vice Admiral of the U.S. Navy will be removed from his post, according to reports.
Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, current commander of 7th Fleet, is a three-star commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet based in Japan. CBS News reported he will be relieved of duty Wednesday for loss of confidence after the deadly collisions.
Aucoin was set to retire in September, but his exit will be rushed, reported U.S. Naval Institute News. Hewill be replaced by Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, whose appointment to lead the South Pacific area fleet was already announced in May in anticipation of Aucoin’s retirement.
The move to push Aucoin out comes days after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore. At least 10 soldiers went missing in the crash and only some of the bodies have been recovered. The incident is under investigation.
The McCain collision was the second in about two months, after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship on June 17.
The accident resulted in the deaths of seven U.S. sailors.