South China Sea, August 21 — US Defense News is reporting 10 sailors missing and 5 injured after a merchant ship Alnic MC collided with the US guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56).
The incident occurred near Straits of Malacca and Singapore. The US ship is part of the US 7th Fleet.
The 7th Fleet reports hull damage to the destroyer with flooding into troop berthing, communications and machinery rooms. Crew on board took required actions to stop the flooding.
CNO orders global operation pause for US Naval fleets to review operational safety guidelines and procedures.
P|M Weighs In:
This incident will be investigated thoroughly. This comes on heels of the previous ship strike incident involving USS Fitzgerald. Just days ago the US Navy has concluded its investigation into that incident and has relieve of command the ship commander Cmdr. Bryce Benson and the executive officer Cmdr. Sean Babbitt for “[loss of] trust and confidence in their ability to lead”.
In another, lesser known incident that occurred in January of this year when guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground near Japan dumping a large amount of oil into the water – its commander Capt. Joseph Carrigan was also relieved after investigation cited “judgement and decision making [errors]” – as per NavyTimes and Military.com.
This is a monumentally serious issue – these ships are guided-missile destroyers. With all the crew, advanced weaponry and technology on-board these ships one would think a collision of this nature should be impossible.
The question to be asked is who is in charge and in control of these vessels?