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The Navy's Secret Investigation Into The USS Fitzgerald Collision Details A Disaster That Was Just Waiting To Happen
A previously-undisclosed internal investigation into the 2017 collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine-flagged container ship off the coast of Japan paints an disturbing portrait of operations aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, according to an explosive report by Navy Times.
Now that the destroyer USS John S. McCain’s former commanding officer has pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty, the Navy will be spared having to publicly discuss the training and manning problems that contributed to the ship’s deadly collision last year. The Navy says it is currently addressing those underlying problems.
Attorneys for the former captain of the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald, charged with negligent homicide in the deaths of seven U.S. sailors during last July’s collision with a commercial vessel off the coast of Japan, have lashed out at the Navy for allegedly “litigating this case through the media.”
The Navy’s investigation into two separate collisions with commercial vessels involving two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers over the summer has found that both incidents were completely avoidable, the branch announced on Nov. 1.
On Aug. 17, the Navy released the preliminary results of its investigation into the June 17 collision between the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Fitzgerald and Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal that left seven sailors dead. The report provides minute-by-minute details of the horror that unfolded aboard the Fitzgerald after the nighttime collision, but it also highlights brave actions by the sailors of Berthing 2, which immediately flooded after the Crystal’s “bulbous bow” punched a 13-by-17 foot hole below the Fitzgerald’s waterline, to save their fellow sailors.