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earlier burfling | later burfling

WTF? Six US Navy commanding officers fired from their commands in the last six weeks?

April 16: The commander of VAQ 140 (an electronics-warfare squadron flying EA-6B Prowlers) was relieved "due to loss of confidence in his ability to command."

April 21: The commander of Navy Recruiting District New York was relieved "due to loss of confidence in his ability to lead his command," supposedly due to failing to meet recruiting goals.

May 8: The commander of the destroyer Higgins (DDG 76) was relieved because commanders lost "confidence in his ability to command."

May 10: The commander of Old Ironsides, USS Constitution, was relieved "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command."

May 16: The commanding officer of the submarine Helena (SSN 725) was relieved "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command".

May 21: The commanding officer of the destroyer Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) was relieved due to a "loss of confidence in her ability to command", possibly linked to the Arleigh Burke running aground on May 15 off Norfolk.

That's an awful lot of skippers being canned for cause in an awfully short time frame. The various official releases don't mention specifics about why the various COs were fired, although another Navy Times article claims that "sources have suggested causes range from incompetence to fraternization to an allegation that a captain struck an enlisted crew member."

And there's probably more heads about to roll. The frigate Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 56) experienced "engineering difficulties" May 11 about a mile off of Puerto Belgrado, Argentina and had to be towed into port. Plus, Arleigh Burke's squadron commander was on board when she ran aground, which may well call his leadership into question.

That also doesn't count the skippers of two Coast Guard medium endurance cutters who've gotten themselves into hot water - USCGC Alex Haley's skipper was temporarily relieved April 30 for "loss of confidence", while USCGC Escanaba's skipper was arrested May 15 for getting into a bar fight in Key West.

So what the hell is going on the the collective wardrooms of the Fleet? I hope this is just a weird set of coincidences, but ...

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