Capt. Devon Jones

Capt. Devon Jones (Defense Department)

A Navy captain who was shot down over Iraq and rescued during the first Gulf War has been relieved of duty after superiors lost confidence in his ability to command, according to a Navy statement.

Capt. Devon Jones, commanding officer of Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif., was relieved by Rear Adm. Dixon Smith for an undisclosed “issue,” the statement said Monday. He was replaced temporarily by his executive officer, Cmdr. Erik Franzen, until a successor is found.

“The Navy expects its leaders to provide principled and highly ethical leadership, stressing discipline, accountability and the importance of treating shipmates with dignity and respect,” the statement said. “It is of paramount importance to the Navy that even the appearance of impropriety by leadership is unacceptable, and all personnel must conduct themselves in a manner beyond reproach.”

Jones has been assigned to Commander, Naval Air Forces “until the outcome of this issue is reached,” the statement said. El Centro is a tactical training air installation, according to its website.

Jones’ Navy biography has already been removed from Navy websites, but while a lieutenant, his F-14 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over Iraq on Jan. 21, 1991, according to a Navy history of the war. He was rescued the next day. His radar intercept officer was captured as a prisoner of war but was later released.

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Matthew M. Burke has been reporting from Okinawa for Stars and Stripes since 2014. The Massachusetts native and UMass Amherst alumnus previously covered Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, for the newspaper. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times and other publications.

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