Removal of USS Germantown sailor made permanent
A helicopter flies near the dock landing ship USS Germantown while underway in the western Pacific Ocean in August 2013.
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — A top USS Germantown sailor being investigated for sexual assault was permanently removed Tuesday as the investigation into the allegations continues, Navy officials said.
Command Master Chief Petty Officer Jesus Galura was temporarily relieved Jan. 7 and reassigned to Amphibious Squadron 11 headquarters at Sasebo Naval Base after allegations surfaced that he had sexually assaulted another Germantown crewmember.
Navy officials declined to comment further as the investigation continues to probe the overall command climate onboard the Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship and whether or not Galura, and potentially others, are guilty of misconduct.
The decision to permanently remove Gulara from the command was made Tuesday by Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Harry Harris Jr.
“Harris determined Galura’s relief should be made permanent due to the length of the investigation and loss of confidence in his ability to effectively lead the Chief’s Mess and be a contributing member of the command triad,” 7th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. William Marks wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes.
Galura’s removal came less than six months after another Germantown chief petty officer was convicted by court-martial jury of sexually assaulting a sailor he once mentored.
Galura reported to the Germantown as command master chief in August 2011, Navy officials said. He joined the Navy in 1989 at Naval Station Subic Bay, Philippines. Since that time, he has served aboard the USS Essex and USS San Bernardino.
Command Master Chief Jeffrey Steinly has transferred from U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters to assume Galura’s duties.