U.S. officials: Navy 7th Fleet commander to be removed in wake of accidents

In this June 18, 2017, file photo, U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, speaks during a press conference, with damaged USS Fitzgerald as background at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo. U.S. officials said that Aucoin is to be relieved of duty after series of ship accidents in the Pacific. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

TOKYO (AP) - The commander of the Navy's 7th Fleet will be dismissed after a series of warship accidents in the Pacific this year, two U.S. officials said Wednesday.

One official said that Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was being removed because of the leadership's loss of confidence in his ability to command. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the decision.

The move follows four Navy accidents in the Pacific since late January, including two collisions that left sailors dead and missing.

"While each of these four incidents is unique, they cannot be viewed in isolation," Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift said late Tuesday.

He said the Navy would carry out a "deliberate re-set" of all its ships in the Pacific, focused on navigation, mechanical systems and bridge resource management.