WASHINGTON – The United States will disclose the punishments faced by three navy officers as well as a recommendation report submitted by the Court of Inquiry on the Feb. 9 collision between a U.S. submarine and a Japanese fisheries training ship, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. Craig Quigley said Tuesday.
U.S. and Japanese diplomatic sources also said Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, is likely to hold a news conference within the week to disclose the punishments as well as details of the 2,000-page recommendation report, excluding classified details.
The three officers are: Cmdr. Scott Waddle, former captain of the submarine Greeneville; Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Pfeifer, the sub’s executive officer; and Lt. j.g. Michael Coen, the deck officer at the time of the accident. The liability of each officer in the Feb. 9 collision has been examined by the navy’s Court of Inquiry.
While the recommendation report submitted to Fargo is confidential, the Japanese government has confirmed details that reveal the officers are not likely to be court-martialed over the mishap, according to Japanese sources.
The three-admiral Court of Inquiry recently turned over its report of facts, opinions and recommendations to Fargo. Fargo’s decision is expected to be in line with the report’s recommendations.
The 499-ton Ehime Maru, belonging to Uwajima Fisheries High School in Ehime Prefecture, sank off Hawaii after being hit by the 6,080-ton Greeneville, which was carrying out a rapid-surfacing maneuver for civilian guests.
Nine Japanese aboard the Ehime Maru, including four students, were lost at sea.
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