The chief of naval operations has ordered an “pause” on global fleet operations in the wake of a string of destructive collisions.
The USS John S. McCain, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, was involved in a collision with the Alnic MC, an oil tanker more than three times the size of the American warship. Five sailors were injured with ten others reported missing after the huge merchant vessel punched a hole in the side of the destroyer early Monday morning.
Monday’s collision follows an accident in June in which the USS Fitzgerald, another 7th Fleet Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, collided with the ACX Crystal, a container vessel several times larger than the American ship. Seven sailors were killed in the incident, which was ultimately attributed to “poor seamanship and flaws in keeping watch,” according to a report from the Associated Press.
“This trend demands more forceful action,” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said in a video released online. “I have directed an operational pause be taken in all of our fleets around the world.”
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