Top Three Naval Commanders Of US Submarine That Struck Seamount Relieved of Duty, Service Reveals
19:41 GMT 04.11.2021 (Updated: 20:03 GMT 19.10.2022)
Three top commanders of USS Connecticut were relieved of duty Thursday due to "loss of confidence" after the US submarine hit a seamount while operating in international waters in early October per US Seventh Fleet investigation.
Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander of the US 7th Fleet, reportedly found "sound judgment, prudent decision-making and adherence to required procedures" which could have prevented the incident, the US NAVY said in a statement Thursday.
The incident that resulted in 11 crew members of the American nuclear-powered submarine Connecticut injured, occurred after the nuclear attack submarine collided with an "uncharted seamount" in the South China Sea in early October.
As a result, the submarine's ballast tanks were severely damaged, prompting the USS Connecticut to an immediate shift in route to a "week-long voyage" to Guam.
The reliefs follow the completion of the investigation into the October 2 collision, and after Chinese Defence Ministry raised concerns over the incident, demanding that Washington provide the full details of the accident.
US Navy Honorable Carlos Del Toro said Thursday in a tweet
shared by National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin that "he's confident with the investigation," which is set to relieve concerns and misunderstandings.
Captain John Witte will assume duties as interim Commanding Officer while Commander Joe Sammur will assume duties as interim Executive Officer.
USS Connecticut remains in Guam while undergoing damage assessment overseen by Naval Systems Command, and will return to Bremerton, Washington for repairs, the Navy announced Thursday.