Navy Fires USS McCain Senior Officers After "Preventable" Deadly Collision

Two months after the deadly collision between USS McCain and an oil tanker near Singapore (that killed 10 and injured dozens more), reports that the Navy has relieved two USS John S. McCain senior officers in connection with a "preventable" deadly collision.

As a reminder, the collision involving the guided-missile destroyer USS John McCain and an oil/chemical tanker called the Alnic MC was an unsettling repeat of the June collision between the USS Fitzgerald and container ship the ACX Crystal, the worst naval accident in decades.

And now, as Stars and Stripes details, Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer relieved the McCain's commanding officer, Cmdr. Alfredo Sanchez, and executive officer, Cmdr. Jessie Sanchez, due to a loss of confidence in their ability to lead, said a Navy statement issued Wednesday.

The statement -- which called the Aug. 21 collision with an oil tanker that killed 10 McCain crew members "preventable" -- said Alfredo Sanchez displayed "poor judgement" while Jessie Sanchez "exercised poor leadership of the ship's training program."

Alfredo Sanchez assumed duties as the McCain's executive officer in April 2015 and became the ship's commander in September 2016. He has been reassigned to Naval Forces Japan, while Jessie Sanchez will go to work for Yokosuka's Ship Repair Facility, the statement said.

A former USS McCampbell commander, Cmdr. Ed Angelinas, has been tapped to serve as the McCain's acting commander, the Navy said. USS Antietam Chief Engineer Lt. Cmdr. Ray Ball will become acting executive officer.

The Navy's Pacific leadership has been shaken up since a string of accidents in the region resulted in several leaders being removed from their positions.

In January, the USS Antietam ran aground and spilled roughly 1,100 gallons of hydraulic fluid into Tokyo Bay.


In May, the USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing boat while operating off the east coast of the divided peninsula. In June, a collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged merchant ship killed seven sailors.


The commanding officers of the Antietam and Fitzgerald were relieved of their duties. The commanders of 7th Fleet, Task Force 70 and Destroyer Squadron 15 were also relieved after the collisions.


Last month, Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift announced he would retire after learning he would not be tapped to lead U.S. Pacific Command.



JohninMK laser Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:45 Permalink

Misleading headline.Looks like no-one has actually been fired as we civilians would understand it. They have been re-assigned, to probably boring jobs, which is very different. They might even have kept their ranks.Who knows, the Navy might even overlook this episode in their futures.

In reply to by laser

sickavme JohninMK Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:50 Permalink

This isn't as bad as it sounds."Fired" in the navy/military actually means "reassigned"(unless its a discharge, then they are out of the military). In this case, these guys got REASSIGNED to skate jobs ashore...Sea duty always sucks compared to shore duty...Real punishment would be brig time, or busted rank and sent back as midshipmen to start all over again ON A SHIP, or flat out discharge...

In reply to by JohninMK

Silver Swan Umh Wed, 10/11/2017 - 12:03 Permalink

Correct. While it is true that they are not fired, it is also true that with this on their record it will be virtually impossible for them to promote to Captain (O-5 in the Navy). That also likely means they will be phased out before they are eligible for retirement.That said, it seems like if they were found to be at fault, why wouldn't there be a demotion at least?

In reply to by Umh

Freddie HRClinton Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:38 Permalink

Hilarious!  The USS McShame has two Mexican lead officers.  What is this the Mexican navy?How many American sailors did John McCain, his father and grandfather murder?  This includes the USS Liberty and USS Forrestal plus a few others.   The McCain (Jesuit) NWO klan has killed more Americans than Putin or any Russians.  

In reply to by HRClinton

Pendolino YUNOSELL Wed, 10/11/2017 - 17:04 Permalink

"He has been reassigned to Naval Forces Japan, while Jessie Sanchez will go to work for Yokosuka's Ship Repair Facility, the statement said."Not really, they didn't lose their jobs, they just got demoted. Still drawing their paychecks and their pensions will be safe. Well their incompetence only lead to 10 deaths, so not a real biggie. I wonder how may you have to kill before you get booted out the service.

In reply to by YUNOSELL

gregga777 Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:12 Permalink

They were NOT fired. They are still (incompetent criminal) officers in the US Navy. They should be courtmartialed, stripped of rank and benefits and dishonorably discharged. That's being FIRED instead of being protected by the Officer Mafia.

WasNotWuz66 gregga777 Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:24 Permalink

That's the military's way of being "fired", which is oddly similar to the govt's way; the reality is those boneheads that supposedly got fired are still collecting a paycheck and will be eligible for all their retirement bennies................  If I got fired from my IT job, guarantee you I'd get the perp-walk to the front door and my paycheck would stop shortly after.  And would probably have to initiate a legal battle to get my 401K money back that I put in.

In reply to by gregga777