US Seventh Fleet Commander relieved of duty

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The US Navy removed Seventh Fleet Commander, Vice-Admiral Joseph Aucoin, from his post yesterday, Reuters reported.

This after the collision between the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and merchant vessel Alnic MC, in the Singapore Strait on Monday.

Ten US sailors are missing.

It was the fourth incident involving the US Pacific Fleet this year.

The US Navy said in a press release: “Admiral Scott Swift, commander of US Pacific Fleet, today relieved the commander of Seventh Fleet, Vice-Admiral Joseph Aucoin, due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.”

Admiral Swift, who travelled to Japan to relieve Vice-Admiral Aucoin, ordered his deputy Pacific Fleet commander, Rear- Admiral Phil Sawyer, to immediately take command of the powerful US force.

Vice-Admiral Aucoin was due to step down next month, with Rear-Admiral Sawyer already slated to succeed him.

The Seventh Fleet, headquartered in Japan, operates as many as 70 ships, including the US Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, and has around 140 aircraft and 20,000 sailors.