Navy relieves head of Florida aviation training center over loss of confidence

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Incoming Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT) Commanding Officer Capt. Nate Schneider (center) salutes Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) Chief of Staff Capt. Mike Whitt (left), officially accepting command of the organization from Capt. Eric Simon Nov. 15, 2018 during a ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museum onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. Simon retired after the change of command ceremony, marking the end of his 38-year Navy career. (Photo by Bruce Cummins)

The commander of the Navy’s aviation maintenance training center at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., was relieved Tuesday for loss of confidence in his ability to command, the Navy said in a statement.

Capt. Nate Schneider was relieved from the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training and has been temporarily assigned to Naval Air Station Pensacola headquarters, a Navy spokesman said in an emailed response to a query by Stars and Stripes.

Officials from the Naval Education and Training Command completed an investigation into allegations about Schneider, Cmdr. James Stockman said in the response. Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, who heads the training command, relieved Schneider.

“Based on this investigation, he was relieved due to loss of confidence,” Stockman said, adding that the Navy would not comment on the investigation’s details.

“Command leaders are held to a high standard,” he said. “Their positions require the utmost in responsibility, reliability and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable in cases where they fall short of those standards.”

Schneider has been temporarily assigned to Naval Air Station Pensacola headquarters, and Capt. Bryant Hepstall, the aviation center’s executive officer, will assume command.

The aviation center is responsible for educating and training enlisted personnel and officers in aviation maintenance.

Schneider first served as the aviation center’s executive officer before taking command in November 2018, according to his Navy biography.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1981 and was later commissioned through the Enlisted Commissioning Program. He served at sea on a host of ships in the field of aviation maintenance, including four different aircraft carriers.

He has earned numerous personal awards, including the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal five times and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal times.


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