USS Essex Departs with Temporary Commander

Captain fired after collision next month

By Lauren Steussy
|  Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012  |  Updated 1:58 PM PDT
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Damage to USS Essex

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The USS Essex left from Naval Base San Diego for Hawaii this morning with a temporary commander at the helm.

Captain Chuck Litchfield was relieved of his command Monday. Navy officials "lost confidence" in his ability to command the USS Essex after the ship collided with USNS Yukon last month.

She ship was conducting a replenishment operation 120 miles off the coast when the two vessels collided.

No one was injured, and no oil was spilled, but there was some damage to the Yukon and Essex.

Captain Jonathan Harnden has been assigned to temporarily command the Essex.

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