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Commander of LCS Billings removed after hitting ship in Montreal

Posted at 9:19 PM, Jun 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-29 23:19:31-04

A news organization affiliated with the United States Naval Institute is reporting that the commander of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Billings was removed from his position Friday after hitting a ship on the St. Lawrence River in Montreal, Canada.

According to a report from USNI News, a spokesperson for Surface Force Atlantic has confirmed that Cmdr. Michael Johnson no longer holds the position. Cmdr. Nate Rowan, who heads the USS Wichita and formerly led the LCS Billings, has replaced Johnson.

Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson told USNI News the change resulted from a “loss of confidence in [Johnson’s] ability to command,” and that the “relief follows the recent allision in Montreal, Canada, which occurred on June 21.”

Under Johnson’s watch, the LCS Billings ran into a merchant ship called the Rosaire Desgagnes. The LCS Billings currently resides in Montreal as both an investigation and a damage assessment are conducted, per the reporting of USNI News.

The Navy, according to USNI News, has not released much more information in regards to the incident.

This story was first reported by USNI News. You can find initial coverage from the organization’s website by clicking here.