The U.S. Navy has dismissed the commanding officer and two others of the nuclear-powered submarine, USS Connecticut, following an investigation that the vessel hit an uncharted seamount in the South China Sea.
The command investigation was submitted to Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet for review and endorsement on November 1. The investigation determined that the Seawolf-class submarine grounded on an uncharted seamount a month ago.
On November 4, Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, relieved Cmdr. Cameron Aljilani as commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Cashin as Executive Officer, and Master Chief Sonar Technician Cory Rodgers as Chief of the Boat.
Thomas determined sound judgement, prudent decision-making and adherence to required procedures in navigation planning, watch team execution and risk management could have prevented the incident, the Navy said in a release.
Capt. John Witte will assume duties as interim Commanding Officer. Cmdr. Joe Sammur will assume duties as interim Executive Officer. Command Master Chief Paul Walters will assume duties as interim Chief of the Boat.
USS Connecticut remains in Guam while undergoing damage assessment and will return to Bremerton, Washington for repairs.