7th Fleet Commander Relieved Due to Loss of Confidence
(Source: US Navy; issued Aug 23, 2017)
YOKOSUKA, Japan --- Adm. Scott Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, today relieved the commander of Seventh Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, 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.

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Pacific Fleet Cmdr: Remains of Some USS John S. McCain Sailors Located
(Source: US Navy; issued Aug 22, 2017)
CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore --- Adm. Scott Swift, commander, Pacific Fleet, said some of the 10 missing USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) Sailors were discovered Aug. 22, by divers performing recovery operations inside the guided-missile destroyer.

Swift also said the Royal Malaysian Navy has reported the discovery of potential remains of another missing McCain Sailor, located while the ship was providing search and rescue assistance east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

We are still searching for our missing Sailors. That remains our focus, said Swift to a group of international media during a press briefing at Changi Naval Base, Singapore, where McCain is currently moored.

"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of those Sailors and the families of our Sailors who were injured," he said.

The search for the missing Sailors has been ongoing since early Aug. 21 following the collision of McCain and merchant vessel Alnic MC. Royal Malaysian Navy coastal patrol craft Petir (12) and Pang Alang (39), Handalan-class missile boat KD Handalan and Lekiu-class frigate KD Lekiu (30) along with two Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency vessels assisted in Tuesday's search efforts.


Republic of Singapore Navy Fearless-class patrol ships Noble Pearl (PCG 54) and Noble Knight (PCG 56) as well as Singaporean aircraft also aided in the day's search.

Those vessels were joined by aviation assets from USS America (LHA 6), which will continue combing the area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore in the vicinity of the collision.

"While the search and rescue efforts continue, I sincerely thank our Singapore partners, our Malaysian partners and everyone who has responded with urgency, compassion and tireless commitment," Swift said.

The ship was transiting to Singapore for a routine port visit when the collision occurred.

Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000.

The incident will be investigated to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.

Click here for the US Navy special web report on the collision and its aftermath.

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Divers Join Search for Missing USS John S. McCain Sailors
(Source: U.S. Navy 7th Fleet; issued Aug. 22, 2017)
CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore --- U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers began searching for 10 Sailors from USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), missing since the guided-missile destroyer and merchant vessel Alnic MC collided early Aug. 21.

Equipped with surface supplied air rigs, divers will access sealed compartments located in damaged parts of the ship. Additionally, they will conduct damage assessments of the hull and flooded areas.

While diving proceeds, ships and aircraft from the Royal Malaysian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy continue to provide search and rescue assistance along with two U.S. Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopters from amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). Those search efforts are focused on an area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore where the collision occurred as McCain was transiting to Singapore for a routine port visit.

John S. McCain and America arrived at Changi Naval Base yesterday afternoon after shipboard damage control efforts by the crew had halted further McCain flooding. While both ships are in Singapore, America is providing meals, berthing and other support to McCain crew members and supporting damage control efforts on board which are focused on dewatering the ship and restoring auxiliary systems.

Royal Malaysian Navy ship KD Handalan and two coastal patrol craft Petir (12) and Pang Alang (39) as well as two Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency vessels are assisting in the search, as are Republic of Singapore Navy Fearless-class patrol ships Noble Pearl (PCG 54) and Noble Knight (PCG 56).

Several diving units are supporting search efforts, including Navy divers from Ship Repair Facility Yokosuka and Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific as well as Marine divers from 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked on America.

Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000.

The incident will be investigated to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.

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