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SAN DIEGO — The commander of the Navy and Marine Corps' EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G Growler training squadron was fired Monday after he was stopped by authorities in Washington state early Sunday on suspicion of driving drunk, the Navy said Tuesday.
Cmdr. Timothy Murphy, who commands Electronic Attack Squadron 129 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., was relieved by Capt. Christopher Shay due to "loss of confidence in his ability to command," Naval Air Forces said in a statement.
Police in Anacortes, Wash., stopped Murphy shortly after midnight Sunday for speeding and cited him for driving under the influence, said Lt. Aaron Kakiel, a Naval Air Forces spokesman in Coronado, Calif.
Shay, who commands Electronic Attack Wing-Pacific in Oak Harbor, Wash., made the decision to relieve Murphy to maintain the Navy's high standards of conduct expected of its commanding officers, Kakiel said.
"Nowadays, for our sailors, if a sailor gets a DUI, a lot of them would be processed for administrative separation," Kakiel said. When it comes to commanders, "we would want to maintain a higher standard."
Murphy took command of the fleet replacement squadron last year. He had commanded VAQ 140 and had received the Capt. Thomas J. Ford Electronic Attack Community Leadership Award while serving as VAQ 140's executive officer in 2007, according to his official biography.
Murphy, who became a naval flight officer in 1992, has tallied more than 3,400 flight hours and 680 carrier landings. He completed his first department head tour and deployed with VAQ 141 aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in support of combat operations in Iraq.
Shay assigned temporary command of the squadron to Capt. John Springett, the wing deputy commander, until a permanent replacement is named, Kakiel said. Murphy is temporarily assigned to wing headquarters.