MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The commanding officer of USS Hartford (SSN 768) was relieved of command April 14 due to loss of confidence.
Rear Adm. Michael J. Connor, commander, Task Force 54 (CTF 54) and commander, Submarine Group 7, relieved the commanding officer of USS Hartford (SSN 768), Cmdr. Ryan Brookhart.
Connor expressed his loss of confidence in Brookhart's ability to command. Brookhart was in command of Hartford when the submarine collided with USS New Orleans (LPD 18) March 20, in the Strait of Hormuz. Although the investigations into the accident are not complete, Connor determined that there was enough information to make the leadership change.
This isn't exactly what I'd call surprising. Given what little I know about the geometry of the collision, and what even less I know about the "rules of the road" as applied to submarines , I figured the odds were pretty good that the Hartford's crew were going to be at least partially at fault for the collision - which automatically puts the skipper's career on the chopping block.
Once those "investigations into the accident" are complete, I expect that a few more punitive actions will be taken - with the XO, Navigator and ship's control party the likely targets. That's not going to be a happy boat for a long while ...
 Rule 1: Don't hit anything. Rule 2: Don't break your boat. Rule 3: Don't break anybody else's boat - inadvertently.