NOW THEY START TO "WALK THE PLANK"
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It was going to happen sooner or later.
Two high-ranking naval officers will be forced to walk the plank soon after 7th Fleet Commander VICE ADM Phil Sawyer relieved them from duty in the wake of two destroyer collisions at sea that cost the lives of 17 American sailors.
The officers whose career just came to a screeching halt are: REAR ADM Charles Williams, commander of Task Force 70, and CAPT Jeffrey Bennett, the C.O. of Destroyer Squadron 15. Both the USS John S. McCain and Fitzgerald are assigned to that naval group.
MORE FIRINGS TO COME SOON
Sources say there will be more heads to roll, but that an admiral and captain had to be at the top of the hit list. Both men were cashiered because the 7th Fleet commander had lost confidence in their ability to command. Translation: their career is over.
REAR ADM Marc Dartin, presently commander of Task Force 76, takes over as boss of TF 70. CAPT Jonathan Derry, assumes command from Bennett at Destroyer Squadron 15.
In a side development, likely influenced by the latest firings, VICE ADM Thomas Rowden, commander of Naval Surface Forces, has requested and been granted early retirement. He wasn't supposed to say "Sayanora" until two more months down the road.