Embarrassed by a very public scandal that made them look incompetent and uncaring, the Pentagon has publicly keel-hauled the commander of a US aircraft carrier for voicing legitimate concerns about his crew to Navy leaders during an onboard Corona-virus outbreak.
Veteran Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of command days after writing a letter warning Navy leadership that decisive action was needed to save the lives of the ship’s crew, CNN reported.
Today at my direction the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Captain Brett Crozier, was relieved of command by carrier strike group commander Rear Admiral Stewart Baker.
The information in question was contained in a memo written by Crozier earlier this week to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, the CNN report said.
We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors, three defense officials confirmed to CNN.
Crozier was relieved because he went outside the chain of command and sent his memo over an unsecured system adding to the chances it could be leaked.
A US defense official told CNN earlier Thursday that 114 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the virus.
Decisive action is required. Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed US nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure.
CNN previously reported that some of the sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt will be quarantined in hotel rooms in Guam as the number of coronavirus cases aboard the carrier continues to increase.
About 1,000 sailors of the 2,700 have been evacuated from the ship and moved ashore to Guam where the ship is currently in port. The Navy’s action drew some sharp rebukes from high places.
In a statement, a group of top Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee sharply criticized the decision to remove Crozier, NBC News reported.
The dismissal of Captain Crozier at this critical moment, as the sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt are confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic, is a reckless, political move that reeks of undue command influence.
This is far from the first time in the last several years that Congress is going to have a lot of questions for Navy leadership — on leadership.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point Military News 2020.