The Daily Manila Shimbun


US Navy orders fleet operational pause

August 22, 2017

WASHINGTON- The US Navy ordered Monday an operational pause and a sweeping review of all procedures to all of its fleets around the world in response to a collision involving the USS John S. McCain Aegis-class guided-missile destroyer. Each fleet commander will decide the duration of the pause, which is expected to last for two days at the longest.

The USS John S. McCain, which belongs to the Navy's Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, collided with a tanker on Monday off the coast of Singapore.

This was the fourth major accident caused by a US Navy ship this year, and three of the four accidents involved ships from the Seventh Fleet.

Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, told reporters that the latest collision, which left 10 crew members missing, was "an extremely serious incident."

He said that it was "the second such incident in a very short period of time" and that the two incidents were "very similar." In June, the USS Fitzgerald, another Aegis-class guided-missile destroyer from the Seventh Fleet, collided with a container vessel.

Richardson said he ordered each fleet commander to make sure nothing is being overlooked in terms of fundamentals including basic seamanship and teamwork.

Regarding the Seventh Fleet, the Navy will appoint an officer to conduct a comprehensive review of training, maintenance, equipment and personnel.

"We need to get at this, get it that we can get the lessons learned, act on those root causes, and move forward, improving the way we do business," Richardson said.

The USS Antietam, a Seventh Fleet cruiser, ran aground off Yokosuka in January. The USS Lake Champlain cruiser, part of the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group, collided with a fishing boat off South Korea in May. Jiji Press