Navy officer will be punished for his role in Iran boat seizure incident

Lt. David Nartker while in Iranian custody.

Lt. David Nartker has been notified that he will face punishment for his role in January’s Iran boat detention incident, but the Navy has not yet said why he’s being punished.  The Navy has confirmed that his punishment will be announced Thursday and could include:  confinement to quarters, forfeiture of pay or a career-ending letter of reprimand.

10 sailors were captured on January 12, after at least one of their vessels experienced mechanical problems, near Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf.

They were released a day later but Lt. Nartker – a 27-year-old Chicago native who graduated  from the US Naval Academy in 2011– was filmed apologizing to Iran after their vessel drifted into Iranian waters.

During questioning, Nartker is heard saying:  “It was a mistake…  It was our fault and we apologize for our mistake.”   He also mentioned that the sailors were fairly treated by their Iranian captors.

Defense officials say, Nartker and another sailor went before Rear Adm. Frank Morneau, earlier this month, to hear the charges against them.  Morneau is commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command. In a statement release by the Command – it was revealed that 4 Navy officers went to Admiral’s Mast, a disciplinary hearing for minor infringements.

The sailors who received punishments were found to be in violation of Article 90, or “disobedience of a superior commissioned officer,” and Article 92, “dereliction in the performance of duties, of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”

Capt. Kyle Moses and Cmdr. Eric Rasch– the commodore and executive officer responsible for the vessels– have already been relieved of command over the riverine boat incident.

An investigation into the incident, released earlier this summer, found that a series of “missteps” led to the seizure.  Some of those issues included: an ill-prepared and overtired crew, failed navigation tests, and boats with broken equipment.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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