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Destroyer CO, CMC fired during deployment

Mar. 1, 2011 - 03:29PM   |   Last Updated: Mar. 1, 2011 - 03:29PM  |  
Cmdr. Nathan Borchers
Cmdr. Nathan Borchers ()
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Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Susan Bruce-Ross ()

The commanding officer and command master chief of the Norfolk, Va.-based destroyer Stout were fired Tuesday for a "pervasive pattern of unprofessional behavior" among the ship's crew, according to an announcement by 6th Fleet. In addition, one officer, six chiefs and one petty officer have been kicked off the ship.

Cmdr. Nathan Borchers, who took command of the ship Dec. 28, was relieved by Vice Adm. Harry Harris, 6th Fleet commander, due to the crew's "unprofessional behavior in overseas ports and a substandard command climate on board following an investigation into multiple allegations of crew misconduct," according to a 6th Fleet statement.

The crew's offenses included "fraternization, orders violations and disregard for naval standards of conduct and behavior which contributed to poor crew morale and a hostile command climate," the statement said.

Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Susan Bruce-Ross was also relieved by Harris. Neither Borchers nor Bruce-Ross was involved in the misconduct ashore, 6th Fleet spokesman Lt. Nate Curtis said. Both have been reassigned to administrative duties at Naval Surface Force Atlantic in Norfolk.

Stout is now commanded by Capt. Dan Shaffer, commander of Task Force 65. The CMC for 6th Fleet, Command Master Chief Jay Wood, is serving as the ship's top enlisted.

One officer, five chiefs and one petty officer were removed from the ship following nonjudicial proceedings for the misconduct ashore. A sixth chief was removed for further legal proceedings, 6th Fleet said.

The ship is on deployment in the Mediterranean Sea and has been escorting evacuee ferries from Libya to Malta while continuing to perform its ballistic-missile defense mission in the Mediterranean. The ship deployed Dec. 15.

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