After colliding with an “uncharted seamount” in the South China Sea, the US Navy fired the Commander, Executive Officer, Chief of Boat and Commanding Officer of a nuclear submarine.
On Wednesday, USS Connecticut’s $3.1 billion CO Cmdr Cameron Aljilani (XO Lt. Cmdr Patrick Cashin) and COB Cory Rodgers (COB Cory Rodgers) were relieved.
A seamount refers to a mountain that rises above the ocean floor.
The Navy stated that the October 2nd crash, which was reported by the Navy, resulted in the death of 157 people. 11 crew members were hurt in the accident. This could have been prevented by’sound judgement, prudent decisions-making and adherence with required procedures in navigation planning.
Three interim officers were appointed to fill in, and the Seawolf-class Submarine is currently in Guam for a damage assessment. This is being overseen by Naval Sea Systems Command.
After 39 warplanes broke into Taiwanese airspace, tensions rose with China on the day that the USS Connecticut crashed into the underwater mountain. A record 56 aircraft also flew into the zone within 24 hours.
After a nuclear-powered attack submarine collided in the South China Sea with an ‘uncharted’ sea mount, the US Navy fired Cameron Aljilani (pictured), Executive officer (XO) as well as Chief of the Boat (COB).
XO Lt. Cmdr Patrick Cashin (pictured), and COB Cory Rodgers also were relieved of their posts on Wednesday. Three interim officers were ordered by the Navy to fill in. The submarine is reportedly ‘undergoing damage evaluation’ in Guam.
The 7th Fleet, which is based in the western Pacific, concluded that there was no foul play after an investigation and that the Connecticut had simply crashed into a mountain rising from seabed on October 2.
A spokesperson for the USS Connecticut stated that the investigation revealed that the vessel was grounded on an uncharted seamount, while operating in international waters in Indo-Pacific.
The Navy remained on alert in South China Sea where Beijing, a country highly valued for their historical and strategic significance, continues to make threats against Taiwan and claim other smaller disputed island.
Taiwan’s president confirmed for the first time last week that American troops were stationed on the island – just days after President Joe Biden publicly confirmed he would defend the nation from China should it come under attack.
The 7th Fleet, which has operations in the western Pacific said that an investigation had determined that the USS Connecticut, pictured in Puget sound, Washington in 2016, smashed into a geological formation and not another vessel on Oct 2.
After 39 warplanes broke into Taiwanese Airspace, tensions were high when the USS Connecticut hit the underwater mountain. Two days later, 56 aircraft flew into this zone in record time within a 24-hour period.
Cdmr Cameron Aljilani pictured shaking hands with Commander of the US 7th Fleet Vice Adm Karl Thomas as he welcomes Thomas on a tour of the submarine at Fleet Activities Yokosuka on August 2
Tsai-Ing-wen, President, described how US soldiers were stationed in Taiwan’s self-governing islands. He said that Taiwan had a wide range of cooperation with America aimed at increasing our defense capabilities’.
The training mission, which includes a special-operations unit as well as a contingent of Marines, is believed to have been operational for at least one year.
The Pentagon maintained a large presence in Taiwan for decades. However, the American Taiwan Defense Command was terminated in 1979 when the United States established a formal diplomatic relationship. Washington maintained informal ties to Taiwan.
Although the number of troops on the island is said to be only three dozen, this token gesture is significant and symbolic. It signals that the American presidential administrations will stand up to Chinese aggression and defend democratic Taiwan.
The Navy confirmed last month’s submarine accident a week after it occurred. The Navy confirmed at the time that the Connecticut had’struck something while submerged.
Beijing today accused Washington of failing to provide timely and detailed information on the incident, complaining of a ‘lack of transparency and lack of responsibility from the US.’
This map shows China’s claim to the South China Sea (in blue), which the US rejects. Marked in blue are US bases in Okinawa off Japan and in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory, and Sembawang wharf in Singapore where Britain’s Royal Navy maintains a small presence. Three naval bases in South China belonging the People’s Liberation Army are marked in red
Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, stated that China has asked the US to explain the vessel’s navigational intentions, the exact location of the accident, whether the accident occurred in any country’s exclusive economic zone or territorial waters, and whether any nuclear damage or leaks were caused.
Washington should stop sending warships and military planes to provoke trouble and show force, Wang said. He warned that this type d’accident will only get worse without any changes in US actions.
The 7th Fleet stated that further discussion would be held to determine ‘whether follow up actions, including accountability, are appropriate.
USNI News, a thinktank near the Navy, reported that there were minor and moderate injuries.
It stated that the sub’s forward ballast tanks were damaged in the crash and it was forced to sail on the surface for a week to Guam to repair the damage.
The publication stated that the nuclear plant on the ship was not damaged.
The 353-foot vessel was built in 1998. It sails with a crew consisting of 116 people, 15 officers, and sails at 353 feet.
It can also carry 40 missiles and torpedoes.
The South China Sea remains America’s central sphere, as China seeks dominance over its smaller neighbors and to seize control over the strategic islands or reefs that dot the region.
And last month, as tensions escalated over the flying of warplanes into Taiwan, it emerged that China had tested a new hypersonic nuclear-capable missile, taking world powers by surprise with a fearsome technology capable of striking virtually anywhere on the planet.
The Aukus alliance was formed by Australia, UK, and USA last month to counter China’s threat.
This new security pact has exacerbated tensions in the South China Sea, where many smaller countries, like Vietnam and the Philippines, turn to the US for military assistance.
Weapons race: Comparison of the most advanced (columns to left) missiles. Aircraft carriers, tanks, and aircraft possessed in China, the US, and Russia
Xi Jinping, China’s President, stated that Taiwan, a selfgoverning democracy, would eventually be subsumed under China.
Taiwan’s government has repeatedly appealed to Washington and Washington to not dismiss Beijing’s threats as mere bombast.
A fleet of US-, UK-, and Australian vessels charted the world as part of the West’s show of strength. They traveled to the Far East, back, and retraced their journeys.
The Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Queen Elizabeth, led the fleet from the South China Sea to the Gulf via the Bay of Bengal.
The UK Carrier Strike Group will end up in the Gulf before returning to Portsmouth on the south coast.