Petty Officer 3rd Class Peter Mims — the sailor who went missing from the USS Shiloh for seven days — was charged with dereliction of duty and abandoning watch on July 13, according to Stars and Stripes.
Mims admitted during an admiral’s mast that he had actively evaded searches by his fellow crewmates during his disappearance, 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. Paul Newell told Stars and Stripes.
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Mims has been charged with violating Article 86 for abandoning watch and Article 92 for dereliction of duty. Punishment for the first could include a maximum of six months confinement and forfeiture of two-thirds pay over six months, while the second could result in a less than honorable discharge, forfeiture of pay, and six months confinement.
When Mims vanished on June 8, the Shiloh crew assumed he had fallen overboard and ordered a massive search-and-rescue party. For 50 hours, the Navy’s 7th Fleet and Japanese Coast Guard and naval forces searched for Mims over 5,000 nautical miles.
But on June 15, crewmates found Mims was found hiding in the ship’s engine room. After turning himself over for questioning and medical evaluation, he spent six days in the brig at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
Newell told Stars and Stripes that Task Force 70 held the hearing, normally reserved for minor cases, “due to the seriousness of the incident and the impact it had on the [USS Ronald Reagan strike group] and also our Japanese allies.”
Newell added that the Navy is exploring more serious administrative action against Mims due to the extreme circumstances of Mims’ disappearance, but declined to comment on what that may be.