Navy to relieve Fitzgerald top leaders; report released

by Navy Office of Information
Stripes Guam

* Adm. Bill Moran, the deputy chief of naval operations, said that Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin plans to relieve Cmdr. Bryce Benson for cause. On Thursday, the Navy released a preliminary report on the June 17 collision between the Fitzgerald and the freighter ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan.

WASHINGTON -- The Navy has completed and released a supplement to its line of duty investigation of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) collision off the coast of Japan June 17.

The line of duty investigation supplement is available at

This report specifically reviews the crew's damage control activities, the nature and extent of injuries to the crew and efforts to provide medical care to the most critically injured personnel, along with details regarding assistance provided by other vessels, diving activities and the ship's return to port in Yokosuka.

Capt. Wilson Marks, who commands USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), led and assembled the supplement. He also conducted the initial line of duty investigation.

The supplement provides details and accounts of actions taken following the collision and reports:

* Through their swift and in many cases heroic actions, members of the crew saved lives.

* After the collision, Sailors responded to the myriad damage control scenarios occurring throughout the ship. Flooding, structural damage and reports of white smoke stressed the damage control organization; at the same time, efforts to restore power, propulsion, steering and navigation continued.

* No damage control efforts would have prevented Berthing 2 from flooding completely within the first two minutes following the collision

The initial line of duty investigation was limited in scope to establishing a line of duty determination for the three injured and seven deceased Sailors. It is separate from ongoing investigations into the collision between Fitzgerald and ACX Crystal. The line of duty investigation supplement is one of three Navy investigations into the collision and is meant to provide detail of what occurred following the collision.

Each of the injuries and deaths occurred in the line of duty and none was due to any member's own misconduct.

Related photos and videos are available for download at the links below:

1. Photos of the seven Sailors killed aboard USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62):

2. Video (interviews and b-roll) of fleet level support to the crew of USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) after collision:

3. Video of statement from Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin, U.S. 7th Fleet commander, regarding USS Fitzgerald's return to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka after collision:

4. Video of USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returning to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following collision:

5. Photos of USS Fitzgerald returning to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka after the collision:

6. Video of USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) moving into Dry Dock 4 at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka to continue repairs and assess damage from its June 17 collision:

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