Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Ahead of scheduled hearings for former naval officers involved in two separate Seventh Fleet crashes last year that claimed the lives of 17 sailors, Navy officials have issued additional punishments for sailors involved in the collisions.
Six non-judicial punishments were issued by the head of Naval Reactors, Adm. James F. Caldwell in Yokosuka, Japan on Jan 25., Navy officials told USNI News.
Four of the sailors received non-judicial punishments, or NJPs, which are disciplinary actions that can be taken against a service member whose conduct or actions do not rise to the level of warranting a court-martial.
Former USS Fitzgerald executive officer Cmdr. Sean Babbitt and command master chief CMC Brice Baldwin, along with one unnamed officer, were found guilty of dereliction of duty -- the sailors received punitive letters of reprimand.
"In another case involving a [Fitzgerald] officer, Caldwell reconsidered a previous finding of guilt and set aside the action based on his review," Navy officials said.
An enlisted sailor from the USS John S. McCain was also found guilty of dereliction in the performance of duties and received a punitive letter of reprimand, along with other sanctions imposed.
Caldwell dismissed the NJP charges of one officer and one enlisted sailor from the McCain, according to Stars and Stripes.
The Navy concluded last year that the two collisions between Navy destroyers and commercial vessels were "avoidable," and were the result of multiple human errors.
Article 32 hearings, which are the equivalent of preliminary hearings in civilian law, are scheduled for March 6-8 at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. for Cmdr. Bryce Benson, who was the commanding officer of the Fitzgerald, and Cmdr. Alfredo Sanchez, who commanded the McCain.
Three additional officers from the Fitzgerald will receive Article 32 hearings as well.