Navy commander returning home until Navy investigation is over
Midway through his deployment, a Navy commander is returning back to Washington state following allegations of inappropriate judgments.
Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette is the commander of the USS Mobile Bay and two North Island based helicopter squadrons deployed with the Stennis Strike Group, a group that entered the Middle East area less than 10 days ago, according to NBC.
Officials will not say what the impending investigation is for but they said the admiral is being sent back to his home in Bremerton, Washington. As of now Gaouette is not being formally relieved of his command.
Retired Navy Captain Neal Zerbe said, “The particular commander being relieved, and you know translating that to just moving him back to a continental U.S. base while the investigation continues, is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”
According to the AP, it is very unusual for the Navy to replace a carrier strike group commander during its deployment. The Stennis strike group will be replaced by Rear Admiral Troy M. Shoemaker, who will be in the position until the investigation is complete.
Zerbe also said leadership is very important. He said, “This is at a very senior level. The guys that are delivering the bombs on target and supporting the guys in the field in contact, they’re ready to go. They’ve got no issues; it’s transparent at their level.”