Capt. James Harney has been ousted as commander of Amphibious Squadron 5 in San Diego due to a loss of confidence.

Capt. James Harney has been ousted as commander of Amphibious Squadron 5 in San Diego due to a loss of confidence. (U.S. Navy)

The commander of Amphibious Squadron 5 in San Diego was relieved Friday, five months after taking command, the Navy said in a news release that day.

Capt. James Harney was ousted “due to a loss of confidence” in his ability to perform his duties by Rear Adm. Randall Peck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, the release said.

No further details were provided as to reasons why Peck lost confidence in the 27-year Navy officer.

Harney will be administratively reassigned to Naval Surface Force Pacific, the news release said.

Capt. Tate Robinson will assume the duties of Amphibious Squadron 5’s commander, the news release said.

“Navy leaders are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct, both on and off duty,” the release said. “They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability, and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of those standards.”

Harney, a Kentucky native, received his commission in 1996 from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science, according to his official Navy biography.

Among his assignments at sea were chief of staff for Carrier Strike Group 11; commander of the guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal; commander of Afloat Training Group (Mayport); and commander and executive officer aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Russell.

Harney in June took command of Amphibious Squadron 5, which was established in 1954 to prepare for and direct expeditionary warfare missions using amphibious ships and Marine Corps troops.

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Wyatt Olson is based in the Honolulu bureau, where he has reported on military and security issues in the Indo-Pacific since 2014. He was Stars and Stripes’ roving Pacific reporter from 2011-2013 while based in Tokyo. He was a freelance writer and journalism teacher in China from 2006-2009.

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