Report: Board finds no reason to separate USS Fitzgerald lieutenant for role in fatal collision

The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald returns to Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, following a collision with a merchant vessel that killed seven sailors, June 17, 2017. PETER BURGHART/U.S. NAVY
The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald returns to Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, following a collision with a merchant vessel that killed seven sailors, June 17, 2017. PETER BURGHART/U.S. NAVY

Report: Board finds no reason to separate USS Fitzgerald lieutenant for role in fatal collision

by Caitlin Doornbos
Stars and Stripes

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A Navy lieutenant faulted for her role in the USS Fitzgerald’s fatal collision will not be forced from the Navy but allowed to exit with an honorable discharge instead, a board of inquiry has decided.

Lt. Natalie Combs, a tactical action officer aboard the guided-missile destroyer, was censured in April for failure to perform her duties that day. The destroyer collided June 17, 2017, with a container ship, the ACX Crystal, about 60 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, where the warship was based. Seven sailors died in the collision.

A Navy board of inquiry on Thursday found no reason to force Combs from the Navy after 11 years of service, the Navy Times reported.

Navy officials and Combs’ attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.614559

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