Tactical

Fired CO of USS Howard got in hot water after ‘unprofessional’ remarks

The Navy relieved the commanding officer of the Japan-based destroyer Howard after the skipper made “unprofessional” remarks, according to a U.S. defense official.

The service announced Tuesday that it removed Cmdr. Cameron Dennis, who became the commanding officer of the warship in September, due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to perform his duties.”

But a defense official granted anonymity to discuss personnel matters said Dennis’ ouster came after a command investigation substantiated allegations that he made “unprofessional comments” in the workplace.

The official declined to provide further information, but another official has confirmed to Navy Times that the firing was not connected to Dennis’ professional performance.

Dennis is being reassigned to the 7th Fleet staff, while the deputy commodore of Destroyer Squadron 15, Capt Dave Huljack, will serve as commanding officer until a permanent relief is found.

The Navy said the ship’s mission and schedule is not impacted by Dennis’ firing, but the service didn’t provide any additional details.

Dennis’ dismissal comes less than six months after the Navy removed the previous skipper of the warship, Cmdr. Kenji Igawa, due to a loss of confidence. Days prior to Igawa’s removal, the ship encountered a “soft grounding” as it pulled into Bali for a scheduled port visit.

The Howard is based in Yokosuka, Japan.

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