Fleet commander dismissed after collisions involving 2 Connecticut sailors

The USS John S. McCain conducts a patrol in the South China Sea, Jan. 22, 2017, while supporting security efforts in the region. (Navy Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class James Vazquez)

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin will be removed from his post as the commander of the US 7th Fleet, after two deadly collisions in the Pacific in just two months, according to the Navy.

The most recent one happened early Monday morning, when the USS John S. McCain collided with a commercial oil tanker near Singapore. Ten sailors assigned to the ship were missing following the accident, including Suffield resident Electronics Technician Third Class Petty Officer Dustin Doyon. The Navy has reported that some remains have been recovered.

This was the  fourth time a US warship has been involved in an accident in Asian waters this year, and the second in just two months. In June, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan. Seven US sailors died, including another Connecticut resident.

A statement from the 7th fleet said Aucoin was relieved “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.”

Rear Adm. Phil Sawyer, who has already been nominated and confirmed for the position and promotion to Vice Admiral, will assume command immediately.