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4 incidents, 2 deadly, raise questions about Navy operations

This combination of file photos show U.S. Navy ships the USS Antietam, top left; the USS Lake Champlain, top right; the USS Fitzgerald, bottom left; and the USS John S. McCain. The commander of U.S. naval operations has ordered a comprehensive review to get to root causes after the collision this week between a Navy destroyer and an oil tanker near Singapore. The crash on Aug. 21, 2017, is the latest "in a series of incidents in the Pacific theater," Adm. John Richardson said in a video statement. Navy ships have been in at least four accidents in the Pacific this year. (U.S. Navy via AP, AP Photos/File)

BANGKOK — One major US Navy collision may be an accident, two a coincidence. But analysts say the deadly incidents involving the USS John S. McCain this week and USS Fitzgerald in June call for thorough investigations to restore confidence in a Navy considered the world's best.

There were two more minor accidents involving Navy warships earlier this year. A commander says the four "cannot be viewed in isolation."

The Navy has ordered an "operational pause," which one analyst said makes sense "to explore what on Earth is happening."

Another expert says the incidents raise the question of whether Navy forces are stretched too thin.

It is still unclear how the collision occurred early Monday between the USS McCain and a tanker off Singapore, leaving 10 American sailors missing and five injured.
 

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