• ITVI.USA
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    56.770
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  • OTRI.USA
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    0.140
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  • OTVI.USA
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    66.780
    0.5%
  • TLT.USA
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  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
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    14.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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    6.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.440
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    2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.870
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
  • ITVI.USA
    13,762.810
    56.770
    0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.620
    0.140
    0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,739.360
    66.780
    0.5%
  • TLT.USA
    2.650
    0.020
    0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.480
    0.060
    2.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.190
    0.050
    2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.400
    0.180
    14.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.730
    0.160
    6.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.440
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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American Shipper

Former Fitzgerald, McCain COs face criminal charges

The U.S. Navy is filing criminal charges against the former commanders of the two Navy Ships that were involved in fatal collisions with cargo vessels last year in the Pacific Ocean.

   The U.S. Navy is filing criminal charges against two former commanders of military ships that were involved in fatal collisions with cargo vessels in the Pacific Ocean last year.
   In a statement Tuesday, Acting U.S. Navy Chief of Information Capt. Greg Hicks said that Admiral Frank Caldwell, the officer overseeing the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain collision incident investigations, has decided to file multiple criminal charges against high ranking officers that were serving on each vessel during the collisions.
   The John S. McCain and oil/chemical tanker Alnic MC collided off the coast of Japan on Aug. 21, 2017, killing 10 U.S. sailors. In the crash between the Fitzgerald and ACX Crystal on June 17, seven U.S. sailors were killed and three others severely injured.
   “After careful deliberation, today Admiral Frank Caldwell announced that Uniform Code of Military Justice charges are being preferred against individual service members in relation to the collisions,” Hicks said.
   In the Fitzgerald incident, court-martial proceedings are being convened to review evidence supporting possible criminal charges against the vessel’s then-Commanding Officer, two Lieutenants, and one Lieutenant Junior Grade.
   The charges include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel and negligent homicide.
   In regards to the John S. McCain collision, one court-martial proceeding is being convened to review evidence supporting possible criminal charges against the warship’s then-Commanding Officer.
   The charges include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel and negligent homicide. In additional, a charge of dereliction of duty for a Chief Petty Officer is pending, according to Hicks.
   A report released last November by the Navy’s operations chief said that both accidents were preventable and blamed both on human error.
   The collision between the John S. McCain and Alnic MC resulted primarily from “complacency, over-confidence and lack of procedural compliance,” the unclassified version of the 72-page report notes. “A major contributing factor to the collision was sub-standard level of knowledge regarding the operation of the ship control console.”
   In particular, the report states that the commanding officer of the John S. McCain disregarded recommendations from his executive officer, navigator and senior watch officer to establish sea and anchor watch teams in a timely fashion to ensure the safe and effective operation of the ship.
   The collision between the Fitzgerald and ACX Crystal, the U.S. Navy determined, was avoidable and resulted from an accumulation of smaller errors over time, ultimately resulting in a “lack of adherence to sound navigational practices.”
   Specifically, the report states that watch teams on the Fitzgerald “disregarded established norms of basic contact management” and, that leadership on the vessel “failed to adhere to well-established protocols” in place to prevent collisions.
   The report notes that the ship’s top three leaders – Cmdr. Bryce Benson, Cmdr. Sean Babbitt and Command Master Chief Brice Baldwin – were all absent during a time when their experience and guidance would have greatly benefited the ship.
   Neither the ACX Crystal or Alnic MC were reported to have suffered major damage or personnel injuries during the collisions. Each vessel is multiple times larger than the military ship that it collided with.

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