USS John S. McCain collision: Remains found during search for missing sailors

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 10:58 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 7:10 AM

USS John S. McCain Collides With Tanker, 10 Sailors Missing

UPDATE, 7:08 a.m. ET Tuesday: The Associated Press reports that some remains of Navy sailors were found in a compartment of the USS John McCain, according to the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

A number of bodies were found on the ship, and one body was found by Malaysia, the AP reported.

Read more here.

ORIGINAL STORY: The United States Navy said it will continue to investigate the collision involving the USS John S. McCain as the vessel’s damage is being assessed.

As that happens, the U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs said in a news post that search efforts are continuing for the 10 soldiers who are still missing. Five sailors are injured.

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“Search and rescue efforts continue in coordination with local authorities,” it said in the post. “Royal Malaysian Navy ships KD Handalan and two coastal patrol craft Petir (12) and Pang Alang (39) as well as two Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency vessels are on scene today. 

“Republic of Singapore Navy Fearless-class patrol ships Noble Pearl (PCG 54) and Noble Knight (PCG 56) joined search efforts as well.”

Navy Adm. John Richardson has ordered a probe into the collision, The Associated Press reported.

The fleet said the guided-missile destroyer “sustained significant hull damage that resulted in flooding to nearby compartments.” 

CHANGI NAVAL BASE, SINGAPORE: In this released U.S. Navy handout, tugboats from Singapore assist the Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) at it steers towards Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21. Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding. The incident will be investigated.(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/U.S. Navy via Getty Images/Getty Images)

“It is the second such incident in a very short period of time – inside of three months – and very similar as well,” Richardson said at the Pentagon Monday. “It is the last of a series of incidents in the Pacific fleet in particular and that gives great cause for concern that there is something out there we are not getting at.”

An immediate explanation for the collision was not given; however, cyber security experts speculated that the ship could have been hacked, according to a McClatchy report.

Richardson said there were “no indications right now” of “cyber intrusion or sabotage,” but the investigation would “consider all possibilities.”

In the coming weeks, the Navy said it would take a one-day pause in operations to identify any steps that may need to be taken to ensure safety.

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2 soldiers killed in helicopter crash

Published: Saturday, April 07, 2018 @ 3:38 PM



Getty Images
(Getty Images)

Two soldiers were killed Friday night after an AH-64E Apache helicopter crashed during training at Fort Campbell.

It was the second fatal helicopter crash during training this week involving American servicemen.

>> Marine with local ties killed in helicopter crash was innovator who ‘saw silver lining in everything’

Gunnery Sgt. Derik Holley, 33, whose parents live in Washington Twp., was one of four Marines killed in Tuesday's crash of a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

The names of the soldiers who died in Friday’s crash were not immediately released pending notification of families, according to the Associated Press.

Army officials said the soldiers were members of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 on board crashes into Pacific: Live updates

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 8:09 PM
Updated: Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 12:29 PM

U.S. Navy Aircraft Crashed into Pacific with 11 On Board

A U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 people on board has crashed into the Pacific Ocean, officials said Wednesday.

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Air Force pilot killed, 1 injured in crash near Texas’ Laughlin Air Force Base

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 9:53 AM

Lt. Col. Thomas Allen, 87th Flying Training Squadron commander, lands a T-38C Talon after a formation flight at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 18, 2017. The T-38 is the training aircraft used to teach student pilots the basics of flying. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin N. Valmoja)
Airman 1st Class Benjamin Valmoj/47th Flying Training Wing Public
Lt. Col. Thomas Allen, 87th Flying Training Squadron commander, lands a T-38C Talon after a formation flight at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 18, 2017. The T-38 is the training aircraft used to teach student pilots the basics of flying. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin N. Valmoja)(Airman 1st Class Benjamin Valmoj/47th Flying Training Wing Public)

One pilot died and another was injured Monday when an Air Force T-38 Talon crashed in Del Rio, Texas, according to officials.

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The T-38 crashed around 4 p.m. about 14 miles northwest of Laughlin Air Force Base, where the jet was assigned, base officials said.

Authorities did not immediately identify the pilots, citing the need to notify their families.

According to Air Force officials, “the T-38 is the training aircraft used to teach student pilots the basics of flying.”

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The circumstances surrounding the crash were not immediately clear. Base officials said a board of officers will investigate the crash.

“Our biggest priority at this time is caring for the family and friends of our Airmen,” Col. Michelle Pryor, 47th Flying Training Wing vice commander, said in a news release. “We are a close-knit family, and when a tragedy like this occurs every member of the U.S. Armed Forces feels it. Our people take top priority, and we are committed to ensuring their safety and security."

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Navy plans operation pause, calls for review of collisions in the Pacific

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 11:45 AM

Damage to the portside is visible as the Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) steers towards Changi naval base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. The USS John S. McCain was docked at Singapore's naval base with
Damage to the portside is visible as the Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) steers towards Changi naval base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. The USS John S. McCain was docked at Singapore's naval base with "significant damage" to its hull after an early morning collision with the Alnic MC as vessels from several nations searched Monday for missing U.S. sailors. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/U.S. Navy photo via AP)(Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/AP)

The U.S. Navy will take a one-day operational pause in the coming weeks to “ensure we are taking all appropriate immediate measure to enhance the Navy’s safe and effective operation around the world,” Navy Adm. John Richardson, who is chief of naval operations, said on Monday.

The pause was announced on the same day officials said they were launching a broad investigation into the Pacific fleet in light of recent accidents, including Monday morning’s collision between the USS John S. McCain and a merchant ship in the waters of Southeast Asia.

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Ten sailors remained missing Monday, hours after the USS John S. McCain, a guided missile destroyer, and the 600-foot Alnic MC collided off the coast of Singapore, Navy officials said. Five other sailors were injured.

A search for the missing sailors was ongoing Monday.

"This is the second major collision in the last three months, and is the latest in a series of major incidents, particularly in the Pacific theater,” Richardson said in a video statement released Monday. “This trend demands more forceful action.”

The USS John S. McCain, named for Republican Sen. John McCain’s father and grandfather, who were both Navy admirals, was pulled on Monday evening to Changi Naval Base in Singapore. The crash left the ship with significant hull damage, allowing water to flood into nearby compartments, naval officials said.

“I don't want to speculate how the incident happened, but this area -- it's a busy area, considering the two vessels are about to enter the traffic separation scheme,” said Adm. Datuk Zulkifili Abu Bakarthe, head of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, according to The Navy Times.

The newspaper reported that about 80,000 vessels travel the strait each year.

>> Related: 10 sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker

A defense official told The Associated Press earlier Monday that Richardson directed Adm. Phil Davidson, head of the Navy’s Fleet Forces, to lead the investigation.

The unnamed official told the AP that “Richardson wants to ensure there aren’t bigger problems that may be masked by the high pace of ship operations in the Pacific region.”

Richardson said the investigation would include “trends in operational tempo, performance, maintenance, equipment and personnel,” along with “surface warfare training and career development, including tactical and navigational proficiency.”

Monday’s crash was the second major collision involving a U.S. Navy warship from the 7th Fleet in two months, according to The Navy Times. It is the fourth accident involving a naval vessel in the Pacific this year, according to The Washington Post.

Seven sailors died and three others were injured on June 17 when a merchant vessel and the USS Fitzgerald collided in the Philippine Sea, about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. Officials determined that the collision was avoidable and dismissed the ship’s commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief after the crash.

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