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More Navy Leaders Ousted After 7th Fleet Crashes

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More Navy Leaders Ousted After 7th Fleet Crashes

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Two more leaders in the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet were relieved of their commands following a string of deadly collisions involving warships in recent months, the Navy announced Monday.

Rear Adm. Charles Williams, the commander of Task Force 70, and Capt. Jeffrey Bennett, the commander of Destroyer Squadron 15, were relieved of their duties "due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command," the Navy said in a statement.

The moves come nearly a month after the USS John S. McCain collided with a chemical and oil tanker off Singapore, killing 10 American sailors.

Image: Tugboats from Singapore assist the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain as it steers towards Changi Naval Base, Singapore

That collision was the fourth in a year involving a U.S. Navy vessel.

Another destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan in June, killing seven U.S. sailors.

In May, the USS Lake Champlain hit with a South Korean fishing boat off the Korean peninsula. And last year, the USS Louisiana collided with the USNS Eagleview, a Navy support vessel, off the coast of Washington State. No one was injured in either incident.

The terminations announced Monday were the second such round following the two latest deadly crashes.

Last month, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, who'd been the commander of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, was relieved of his post.

The Japan-based 7th Fleet operates between 60 and 70 ships.

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