Commander of US Navy’s lead destroyer is fired

The commander of the US Navy’s lead destroyer has been fired without much explanation, according to Navy sources.

Cmdr. John Gaines was relieved as head of the guided-missile destroyer Arleigh Burke on Thursday, with the only reason being given as a loss of confidence in his command ability.

Cmdr. John Gaines

Rear Adm. Craig Clapperton, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 12, has initiated an investigation.

According to the Navy Times, US 2nd Fleet spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Ashley Hockycko was tight on details, claiming that any further information may not be appropriate during an active investigation.

“Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, it would be inappropriate to discuss further details,” she said.

An Annapolis graduate from 2000, Gaines previously served as an executive officer and took command in 2019.

The Arleigh Burke-class vessels have been around since the late 1980s, and entered service in the early 1990s.

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