Kate Wiltrout of the The Virginian-Pilot reports that LCDR Sean Kearns the former XO of the USS San Antonio was acquitted of negligence related charges in the death of a sailor during small boat launch ops aboard the ship. According to the story, charges alleged that LCDR Kearns failed to properly train the crew in small boat launch ops. The defense, according to the story, countered that the ship–a first in its class version of a new amphibious ship–was plagued by problems and a lack of technical manuals or procedures for the new equipment on the ship. The acquittal will likely result in the LCDR’s promotion and receipt of back pay, according to the story–though as LtCol Chessani learned, not guilty does not equal easy street.
After the death of the sailor, the Navy launched an investigation into many defects in the ship that found, among other issues, that it went to sea without 40% of its technical manuals, see here. Prior testimony reportedly showed that the San Antonio had no manual or guidelines for launching small boats.