ComNavOps has called for a complete and total housecleaning by firing every Admiral and staff member in the 7th Fleet chain of command as one response to the rash of collisions and groundings the fleet has experienced. While the housecleaning has not anywhere near approached that level, I do note that several figures have paid for their gross negligence. Here’s the current list of personnel who have been fired.
- 7th Fleet Commander VAdm. Joseph Aucoin
- Task Force 70 commander Rear Adm. Charles Williams
- Destroyer Squadron 15 commander Capt. Jeffrey Bennett
- USS Fitzgerald CO Cmdr. Bryce Benson
- USS Fitzgerald XO Cmdr. Sean Babbitt
- USS Fitzgerald CMC Brice Baldwin
In addition, two admirals have put in for early retirement. Reading only slightly between the lines, both were likely given the option to retire or be fired.
- Naval Surface Forces commander VAdm. Thomas Rowden
- Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift
I would like to see CNO Richardson accept responsibility for the avoidable deaths of US Navy sailors and resign. Failing that, Congress and/or SecNav ought to fire him.
This is nowhere near the total housecleaning that is needed but it is more severe than the usual tepid Navy response such as after the Iranian seizure of our riverine boats. I would like to see the entire chain of command stand trial for negligent homicide. Absent that, hopefully, this will prompt other Navy leaders to take their duties a bit more seriously.