Defense

Navy relieves cruiser’s commanding officer in middle of deployment

The Navy has relieved the commanding officer of the guided-missile cruiser Normandy in the middle of the ship’s deployment, the service announced.  

Capt. Simon McKeon was relieved on Tuesday “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” less than eight months after he took control of the Normandy, according to a brief Navy press release

The announcement didn’t offer the reason for his dismissal, only adding that McKeon was temporarily moved to the staff of the commander for Naval Surface Force Atlantic. 

A Navy official told USNI News, which first reported the dismissal, that McKeon’s firing was a result of personal misconduct. 

But U.S. 2nd Fleet spokeswoman Cmdr. Lara Bollinger told The Hill on Wednesday that the Navy could not provide further details, citing an ongoing investigation around McKeon. 

“When a superior in command loses confidence in a triad member to effectively perform their duties, it is their obligation to relieve that member of their leadership position,” Bollinger added. 

McKeon took command of Normandy in March and the warship early last month left its base of Norfolk, Va., for the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group. 

Prior to that, McKeon had commanded the destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur in Japan, according to his Navy biography. 

Capt. Gary Chase will serve as Normandy’s temporary commanding officer, and the change will not impact the ship’s mission or schedule, the Navy said. 

Tags Navy Normandy Simon McKeon
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