WASHINGTON - The Navy has reassigned the commander of an attack submarine that ran aground Jan. 8 in the western Pacific Ocean, officials said Thursday.
Cmdr. Kevin Mooney, who commanded the USS San Francisco, was reassigned to a unit in Guam pending the completion of the investigation into the crash, a statement from the U.S. 7th Fleet said. Vice Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the fleet's commander, ordered Mooney's removal from command.
The nuclear-powered San Francisco was on its way to Australia when it struck an undersea mass of rock that was not on the ship's charts. Machinist Mate 2nd Class Joseph Allen Ashley, 24, of Akron, Ohio, died of injuries suffered during the crash, and 23 other members of the crew were injured. The submarine was conducting underwater operations about 350 miles south of Guam.
The submarine has a crew of 137. The vessel sustained severe damage, but the vessel's nuclear reactor was unaffected.
The San Francisco made its way back to its home port in Guam under its own power. Its outer hull was damaged, but its inner hull remained intact.
Cmdr. Andrew Hale, deputy commander of the Guam-based Submarine Squadron 15, will assume the duties as commanding officer of San Francisco.
The 7th Fleet's statement did not assign blame for the crash.