The Navy said on Thursday the leadership of the attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) have been relieved of duty due to a “loss of confidence” after the vessel collided with a seamount on Oct. 2.
7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Karl Thomas relieved the Seawolf-class Commanding Officer Cmdr. Cameron Aljilani, Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Cashin, and Chief of the Boat Master Chief Sonar Technician Cory Rodgers.
On Nov. 1, 7th Fleet said Thomas had received the command investigation into the SSN-22 collision. The service said the Connecticut grounded on an uncharted seamount while operating in the Indo-Pacific region. The Navy said at the time Thomas would determine if any accountability or other actions are appropriate.
On Nov. 4 the Navy said, “Thomas determined sound judgment, prudent decision-making and adherence to required procedures in navigation planning, watch team execution and risk management could have prevented the incident.”
Capt. John Witte will now assume duties as interim commanding officer of SSN-22, Cmdr. Joe Sammur will assume duties as interim executive officer and Command Master Chief Paul Walters will assume duties as interim chief of the boat.
The Navy said the Connecticut will stay in Guam while the service continues to assess the damage before sailing to Bremerton, Wash., for repairs
According to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) factsheet, a seamount is an underwater mountain that has steep sides that rise from the seafloor, usually remnants of extinct volcanoes.