Friends of FOD
OK I got busy and haven’t published in more than a few days. What can I say? Maybe I’m suffering from Solar Eclipse Overload Syndrome. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the many folks who have lost their homes and personal possessions as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
US Navy 7th Fleet Relieved
Following a collision between the Seventh Fleet destroyer USS John S. McCain with the merchant ship Alnic MC in the the Strait of Malacca in the South China Sea, which left 10 navy sailors missing and five sailors injured on August 21, 2017, off the coast of Singapore it was confirmed the commander of the United States Seventh Fleet has been relieved of command. Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin (below right) was relieved of his command on 23 August 2017 due to “loss of confidence in his ability to command.” He was just weeks away from retirement. The Wall Street Journal first reported the planned move Tuesday. RADM Phillip G. Sawyer has now assumed command of Seventh Fleet. While I was a bit glib in earlier editions of FOD regarding the need for a band, etc. it is unfortunate to see the careers of fine officers ended in such a manner. That being said, the Navy reposes special trust and responsibility for the safety and well-being of the ship and those who sail within her and thus commanding officers are held to the highest standards of accountability. The U.S. Navy announced on 24 August 2017 that it would be suspending search-and-rescue efforts to focus on recovery efforts of the missing sailors. Divers have recovered the bodies of all 10 sailors missing. The Navy previously identified eight crew members who were missing as Charles Nathan Findley, Abraham Lopez, Kevin Sayer Bushell, Jacob Daniel Drake, Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., Corey George Ingram, John Henry Hoagland III and Logan Stephen Palmer. The bodies of Kenneth Aaron Smith and Dustin Louis Doyon were previously recovered. There has been at least a rumor out there McCain may have suffered a steering causality or a loss of steering control shortly before the accident, but that doesn’t add much to the discussion at this point. My experience aboard aircraft carriers was that after-steering (the manual backup steering control room) and all other steering backup systems were always fully manned during a transit of the Strait of Malacca.