Tag Archives: US Fleet Forces

Former USS Fitzgerald CO Benson Vows to Take Collision Case to Trial

Former USS Fitzgerald CO Benson Vows to Take Collision Case to Trial

Cmdr. Bryce Benson, then-executive officer, assists in bringing down the battle ensign aboard USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) in 2016. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with a statement from the Navy.

The former commander of the U.S. warship involved in a fatal collision off the coast of Japan last year is vowing to take his case to court-martial and is accusing Navy leadership of trying him in the press before his trial. Read More

Trial Date Set for McCain CO, Senior Enlisted Sailor; Fitzgerald CO Waives Preliminary Hearing

Trial Date Set for McCain CO, Senior Enlisted Sailor; Fitzgerald CO Waives Preliminary Hearing

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) is lowered from the heavy lift transport MV Treasure on December 13, 2017. US Navy Photo

A previous version of this story indicated that Chief Boatswain’s Mate Jeffery D. Butler had faced more serious charges earlier this year. In fact, Butler was neither charged with hazarding a vessel nor negligent homicide in January.

The former commander of USS John. S. McCain (DDG-56) and a senior enlisted crewmember will face separate courts-martial next week for their roles in a fatal collision that killed ten sailors in August. Read More

USS Fitzgerald Combat Team Unaware of Approaching Merchant Ship Until Seconds Before Fatal Collision

USS Fitzgerald Combat Team Unaware of Approaching Merchant Ship Until Seconds Before Fatal Collision

USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan on June 17, 2017. US Navy Photo

WASHINGTON NAVY YARD – The sailors who were manning the combat nerve center of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) did not know they were on a collision course with a ship almost three times their size until about one minute before impact, according to new information revealed in the preliminary hearing for two junior officers accused of negligent homicide for their role in the collision that resulted in the death of seven sailors. Read More

Former USS Fitzgerald Officer Pleads Guilty to Negligence Charge for Role in Collision

Former USS Fitzgerald Officer Pleads Guilty to Negligence Charge for Role in Collision

USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) sits in Dry Dock 4 at Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka on July 11, 2017. US Navy Photo

WASHINGTON NAVY YARD – Lt. j.g. Sarah B. Coppock was contrite and quiet when she pleaded guilty on a single criminal charge for her role in the collision between the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and a merchant ship that killed seven sailors. Read More

Officer Accused of Negligence in Fitzgerald Collision Will Face Special Court-Martial Next Week as Part of Likely Plea Deal

Officer Accused of Negligence in Fitzgerald Collision Will Face Special Court-Martial Next Week as Part of Likely Plea Deal

USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) is loading onto the heavy lift transport vessel MV Transshelf. US Navy Photo

A junior officer accused of negligence in the fatal collision of USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) last summer will face a special court-martial next week on charges of dereliction of duty in a trial at Washington Navy Yard, the Navy announced this week. Based on the circumstances of the case, the trial is part of a likely plea deal that would involve the officer becoming a prosecution witness in courts-martial stemming from the same collision, two military defense lawyer told USNI News. Read More

More Punishments Issued for Fatal Western Pacific Destroyer Collisions; Dates Set for Initial D.C. Criminal Hearings

More Punishments Issued for Fatal Western Pacific Destroyer Collisions; Dates Set for Initial D.C. Criminal Hearings

USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) stands by before it is loaded onto the heavy lift transport vessel MV Transshelf. Transshelf will transport Fitzgerald to Pascagoula, Mississippi to complete repairs. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William McCann/Released)

THE PENTAGON – Navy leadership has issued more punishments to sailors involved in the two fatal collisions in the Western Pacific, senior service officials told USNI News on Thursday. Read More

Navy: Criminal Charges for COs, Crewmembers Likely Final Accountability Action for McCain, Fitzgerald Collisions; Initial Hearings Will be in D.C.

Navy: Criminal Charges for COs, Crewmembers Likely Final Accountability Action for McCain, Fitzgerald Collisions; Initial Hearings Will be in D.C.

USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) is loading onto the heavy lift transport vessel MV Transshelf. US Navy Photo

This post has been corrected to reflect early accountability actions taken on USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) after the collision on Aug. 21 with a merchant tanker. The commander and executive officer were removed from their positions, not the Command Master Chief. The post has also been amended to clarify the definition of negligent homicide under military law.

Criminal charges against crew members involved in the two fatal 2017 surface navy collisions that cost the lives of 17 sailors are likely the last accountability actions to be taken by the service, as the admiral overseeing the process has completed his review, Navy officials told USNI News on Wednesday. Read More

Former Fitzgerald, McCain COs Face Negligent Homicide, Dereliction of Duty Charges Over Fatal Collisions

Former Fitzgerald, McCain COs Face Negligent Homicide, Dereliction of Duty Charges Over Fatal Collisions

Former USS Fitzgerald commander Cmdr. Bryce Benson (left), Former USS John S. McCain commander Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez (right). USNI News Image

This post has been updated to correct the name of the former commander of USS John S. McCain (DDG-56). The correct name is Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez. This post has also been updated with a statement from the service. 

The commanders of the two guided-missile destroyers that were involved in fatal collisions with merchant ships in 2017 will face military criminal charges that include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel and negligent homicide, USNI News has learned. Read More