USS Connecticut’s leadership fired over submarine’s collision with undersea mountain

The USS Connecticut arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan for a scheduled port visit on July 31
Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brett Cote/U.S. Navy via The Associated Press

The Navy on Thursday fired the leaders of USS Connecticut, the submarine that struck an undersea mountain in the Indo-Pacific last month.

Commanding Officer Cmdr. Cameron Aljilani, Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Cashin and Chief of the Boat Master Chief Sonar Technician Cory Rodgers were all relieved “due to loss of confidence,” according to a U.S. 7th Fleet statement.

7th Fleet head Vice Adm. Karl Thomas “determined sound judgement, prudent decision-making and adherence to required procedures in navigation planning, watch team execution and risk management could have prevented the incident.”

The statement did not include further details on how the command failed to prevent the accident.

The Oct. 2 incident, during which the nuclear-powered fast attack submarine grounded on an uncharted seamount, injured 11 crew members.

The Navy hasn’t fully explained how the mistake happened or revealed the full damage to the vessel, which is currently in Guam for assessment.

It is unknown whether a command investigation into the incident, which was completed this week, will be made public.

Capt. John Witte will take over as the vessel’s interim commanding officer, while Cmdr. Joe Sammur will assume duties as interim executive officer and Command Master Chief Paul Walters will be interim chief of the boat.

Tags South China Sea submarines undersea mountain USS Connecticut

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