Navy explains why they removed the commander of USS Preble from command

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO (May 12, 2022) Asian-American commanding officers assigned to San Diego-based surface ships pose for a photo. From left to right: Cmdr. Peter Lesaca, USS Preble (DDG 88), Cmdr. Michael Piano, USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), Cmdr. Tin Tran, USS John S. McCain (DDG 58) and Cmdr. Michelle Fontenot, USS O'Kane (DDG 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kelby Sanders)

Andrew Dyer

The San Diego Union-Tribune

The captain of the San Diego-based guided-missile destroyer Preble was relieved of command Tuesday after he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to a statement from Naval Surfaces Forces.

Cmdr. Peter Lesaca was relieved due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to command” by Capt. Patrick O’Mahoney, the commodore of Destroyer Squadron 23. He had been the commanding officer of the Preble since October, according to a Navy press release.

“The member was arrested on suspicion of DUI,” Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson, a Navy spokesman in San Diego, said in a statement. ” Navy commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct. They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of those standards.”

Abrahamson declined to say when or where Lesaca was arrested. San Diego County Sheriff’s Department jail records indicate it was the weekend of June 4 by California Highway Patrol.

Lesaca’s firing is the fourth such relief in a week. On June 8, a squadron commander deployed on the Norfolk, Va.-based aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman was fired from command. On June 10, the captain of the East Coast-based guided-missile destroyer Bulkeley and the ship’s command master chief were both relieved. The next day, the commanding officer of the Navy’s Recruit Training Command was fired.

Days prior to these reliefs, on May 31, the Navy also fired the commanding and executive officers of the Naval Justice School.

All firings, the Navy said, were the result in losses of confidence in ability to command.

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