United States

US Navy punishes sub that hit mountain in South China Sea

The US Navy has relieved the captain, govt officer and chief sonar technician of USS Connecticut, the nuclear-powered assault submarine that struck an undersea mountain within the South China Sea final month.

Commander Cameron Aljilani, Lieutenant Commander Patrick Cashin and Grasp Chief Sonar Technician Cory Rodgers had been relieved of command “due to loss of confidence,” the Navy said on Thursday.

Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, commander of the seventh Fleet, has decided that “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 Seawolf-class SSN-22 fast-attack submarine was within the South China Sea on October 2 when it struck an “object” and needed to return to Guam for injury evaluation. The thing was later revealed to have been an “undersea mountain,” based on the US Naval Institute.

A number of members of the Connecticut’s crew had been injured within the collision, although not one of the accidents had been life-threatening. The submarine’s nuclear reactor was not affected. The boat will stay in Guam till the injury evaluation is accomplished, at which level it should sail to Bremerton, Washington shipyards for repairs, the Navy stated.

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