Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top Two Navy Officers of the USS Ponce Were Relieved of Command

Stars and Stripes reports that the top two officers of the USS Ponce were relieved of command Saturday after an investigation into accusations of poor leadership, including multiple incidents of hazing as the ship sailed in the Mediterranean in support of missions in Libya, a Navy spokesman said.

Cmdr. Etta Jones, the commanding officer of the Austin-class amphibious transport dock, was relieved “due to her demonstrated poor leadership and failure to appropriately investigate, report and hold accountable sailors involved in hazing incidents,” said Lt. Nathan Potter, a spokesman for the Navy’s 6th Fleet. “Additionally, she failed to properly handle a loaded weapon during a security alert, which endangered some of her crew.”

Her executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Kurt Boenisch, also was relieved for failure to effectively support the command and ship’s commanding officer, Potter said. Both were relieved by Vice Adm. Harry Harris, commander of 6th Fleet.