The USS Fitzgerald is an important destroyer of the U.S. Navy. However, its crew experienced a collision with a small Philippine ship in June. The accident showed signs that it might have been prevented if members on board were as vigilant as it is required of them to be. After a close investigation of this event, a senior non-commissioned officer, the commanding officer, and executive officer will be released from their positions. The June collision had fatal outcome which impels the identification of the culprits.
The Three Officials on Board Fitzgerald Did Nothing to Prevent the June Collision
Late Thursday, Vic Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran announced at the Pentagon that the U.S. Navy lost trust in three key leaders. All these executives were present on board the USS Fitzgerald when it collided with a cargo ship near the coast of Japan. Therefore, Moran claimed that none of them would return to their ship.
The final investigation has yet to reach its conclusions. However, Moran stated that this situation does not impair the Navy from starting their own non-judicial punishment process.
According to the Navy, both commanding officer, Cdr. Bryce Benson, and executive officer, Cdr. Sean Babbiit, were asleep when the incident took place. On top of that, the master chief petty officer, Brice Baldwin, was awake yet not at his post on the bridge when the June collision happened.
The U.S. Navy Will Reconsider Their Qualification and Training Programs
Moran stated that the crew performed a lot of mistakes that led to losing their awareness of the situation for a moment. The destroyer itself was heavily damaged, and there were also dead sailors as a result of the collision.
As a consequence, the U.S. Navy intends to review their qualification and training programs. After the accident, officials placed an acting commanding officer on Fitzgerald temporarily. Cdr. Garrett Miller was then selected as the primary candidate for a permanent replacement. He will soon officially enter his new position.
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