Navy officials announced Tuesday that the USS Fitzgerald commanding officer is being temporary relieved of his command for medical reasons.
The Navy statement said that Cmdr. Bryce Benson is relieved while recovering from injuries sustained in the collision between the destroyer and the ACX Crystal cargo ship June 17.
“This is a temporary relief due to medical reasons,” 7th Fleet Spokesman Clay Doss said in an email to Stars and Stripes. “We’re focused on supporting Cmdr. Benson … getting him the resources he needs during the recovery process.”
Benson was one of three sailors who were medically evacuated by helicopter from the ship to Yokosuka Naval Hospital after the destroyer collided with the ACX Crystal. Benson was released from the hospital June 19 along with the other two sailors, according to a 7th Fleet Facebook post.
Navy officials declined to discuss Benson’s current medical status, citing privacy laws.
The Fitzgerald was damaged above and below the water line on the starboard side near the bridge after being struck by the cargo ship, which is nearly four times its size. During a June 17 press conference, 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin said Benson’s living area was among many spots on the ship that received significant damage.
“His cabin was destroyed,” Aucoin said. “He’s lucky to be alive.”
Benson assumed duties as the ship’s executive officer in November 2015 before assuming command of the ship May 2017, according to a previous Navy news release.
Cmdr. Jack Fray, who is currently assigned to Task Force 70, has assumed command of the ship. Fray had previously served as commanding officer of the USS Howard, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer similar to the Fitzgerald, according to the statement.
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.
The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.
I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)
The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.
President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.
On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.