Three US Navy personnel relieved from duty over sub collision incident

The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a scheduled port visit on July 31, 2021. (Photo: US Navy/Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brett Cote)

The US Navy has confirmed that three senior personnel have been relieved from duty on the Seawolf-class fast attack submarine USS Connecticut in connection with a collision incident that occurred the previous month.

Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander, US 7th Fleet, relieved Commander Cameron Aljilani as commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Patrick Cashin as executive officer, and Master Chief Sonar Technician Cory Rodgers as chief of the boat of Connecticut on Thursday, November 4, due to loss of confidence.

Thomas determined sound judgment, prudent decision-making, and adherence to required procedures in navigation planning, watch team execution, and risk management could have prevented the incident.

Captain John Witte will assume duties as interim commanding officer of Connecticut. Commander Joe Sammur will assume duties as interim executive officer while Command Master Chief Paul Walters will assume duties as interim chief of the boat.

Connecticut remains in Guam while undergoing damage assessment and will return to Bremerton, Washington for repairs.

The incident involving Connecticut occurred in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region on October 2, 2021. Navy officials said the submarine struck an object while submerged on the said date.

The navy added that the submarine’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational and no life-threatening injuries have been reported among the crew.

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