US Navy Relieves Submariners from Duty over South China Sea Collision

The US Navy said it fired the command leadership of the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Connecticut after it crashed into an underwater mountain early this month.

Commander Cameron Aljilani, Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Cashin, the executive officer, and Master Chief Sonar Technician Cory Rogers, the chief of the boat, were relieved due to loss of confidence, the Navy said in a statement on Thursday.

“Sound judgment, prudent decision-making, and adherence to required procedures in navigation planning, watch team execution, and risk management could have prevented the incident,” the statement read.

Early last month, the USS Connecticut was forced to sail on the surface for a week to reach Guam for damage assessment before its return to Washington for repairs.

According to reports, the accident did not damage the nuclear propulsion plant and spaces, but it did damage the submarine’s forward ballast tanks while injuring eleven sailors.

Earlier, the Navy confirmed that the submarine struck an uncharted “seamount” while patrolling below the surface, according to the investigation.

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