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The Navy fired 2 commanders in connection with recent deadly ship collisions in the Pacific region


The Navy has fired two of its top commanders in the Pacific region following recent deadly collisions this summer.

On Monday, Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, fired the commander of Task Force 70 (CTF 70), Rear Adm. Charles Williams and the commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, Capt. Jeffrey Bennett.

The Navy cited a " loss of confidence in their ability to command" as the reason for both of their departures.

Last month, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, who previously led 7th Fleet, was relieved of duty.

Ten U.S. sailors died and five were injured last month when the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided in Southeast Asia. In June, seven sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided near Japan.

Monday's announcement comes just a day before the top U.S. Navy officer and the Navy secretary are scheduled to head to Capitol Hill for a hearing on the crashes.

Rear Adm. Marc Dalton is now commander Task Force 70, and Capt. Jonathan Duffy, who was deputy commander of the destroyer squadron, took over as commander.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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