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Riverine commander relieved after probe into 'personnel issues'

The commanding officer of Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 was removed Tuesday following an investigation into “several personnel issues and actions,” according to a Navy news release.

Cmdr. Joseph Fauth was relieved by Rear Adm. Frank Morneau, head of the Navy Expeditionary Command Command, “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to the statement.

Loss of confidence in command is a catch-all reason generally used in official statements when commanders are relieved. Morneau made the decision based on concerns for sailor welfare and safety, according to the statement.

Cmdr. Michael Dillender, chief staff officer for Coastal Riverine Group 2, has assumed interim command of the squadron.

Following a relief, a former commander is generally reassigned to a headquarters position. Unless court-martialed — which is rare for a relieved officer — the former commander later either files retirement papers, or faces a “show-cause” board of officers who determine whether the former commander should remain in the service.

The San Diego-based Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 operates in nearshore waters and rivers, and also conducts harbor defense missions, along with other security tasks.

news@stripes.com

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