THE PENTAGON — The Navy released the identities of the one dead and nine missing sailors this morning after calling off an international search for the sailors still missing after the Aug. 21 collision between guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) and a merchant ship.
Navy divers recovered the remains of Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from New Jersey.
Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from Poughkeepsie, New York. (Family requested no photo be issued.)
The Malaysian Navy found a body while assisting in the search effort on Tuesday, but U.S. 7th Fleet announced this morning that a medical evaluation determined the body is not one of its missing sailors.
The search was called off after 80 hours of searching a 2,100 square mile area near the Strait of Malacca near Singapore. Ships and aircraft from the Republic of Singapore Navy, Singapore Air Force, Singapore Maritime Port Authority, Singapore Police Coast Guard, Royal Malaysian Navy, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Indonesian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force participated in the search, which was expanded yesterday.
Pier side in Singapore, more Marine divers from the 15 Marine Expeditionary Unit have joined the search effort in the interior of the ship to look for remains in the two berthing areas that flooded when a chemical tanker hit the guided-missile destroyer on Monday.
A Navy official told USNI News this week that the nature of the damage following the collision has made searching the interior of McCain difficult.
Four sailors who were injured in Aug. 21 collision between McCain and chemical tanker Alnic MC have been released from the hospital and have returned to U.S. 7th Fleet, the Navy announced this morning.
Meanwhile, the Navy has started an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision. The service is also starting a Fleet Forces led investigation into Navy operations in the Western Pacific. On Wednesday, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Ad. Scott Swift removed former U.S. 7th Fleet head Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin from his command due to a loss of confidence in his leadership.