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The commanding officer of USS Normandy, Capt. Simon McKeon, was relieved Nov. 8, 2022, due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

The commanding officer of USS Normandy, Capt. Simon McKeon, was relieved Nov. 8, 2022, due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command. (U.S. Navy)

The Navy has relieved the commander of the USS Normandy as the warship continues a deployment in the Atlantic Ocean.

Capt. Simon McKeon was removed from the role “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the Navy said in a statement Tuesday.

McKeon had been at the helm of the guided-missile cruiser since March and will be replaced by Capt. Gar Chase until a permanent substitute is named, the statement said.

“There are no impacts to mission or schedule due to this relief,” the Navy said.

The ship has been at sea since early last month.

No additional reasons were given for McKeon’s removal, although there is an ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation related to the firing, U.S. 2nd Fleet spokeswoman Cmdr. Lara Bollinger was quoted by Navy Times as saying.

McKeon graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1998 and previously commanded the destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, according to his military biography.

He has been temporarily reassigned to the staff of Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, according to Tuesday’s statement.

The cruiser USS Normandy steams alongside the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford before a replenishment at sea, Nov. 2, 2022. The commanding officer of USS Normandy, Capt. Simon McKeon, was relieved Nov. 8 due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

The cruiser USS Normandy steams alongside the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford before a replenishment at sea, Nov. 2, 2022. The commanding officer of USS Normandy, Capt. Simon McKeon, was relieved Nov. 8 due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command. (Ryan Seelbach/U.S. Navy)

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Phillip is a reporter and photographer for Stars and Stripes, based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. From 2016 to 2021, he covered the war in Afghanistan from Stripes’ Kabul bureau. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics.

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