Gaeta personnel reassigned over performance
Capt. Floyd Hehe, commanding officer at Naval Support Activity Naples, has removed three senior-level personnel from the U.S. Navy base in Gaeta because he was dissatisfied with their performance, Navy officials said.
Hehe named Lt. Cmdr. Erik Neal as the officer-in-charge of the military facility.
The former officer-in-charge at Gaeta is Cmdr. Antoinette McCracken, and she has been reassigned to Naples, said Lt. Cmdr. Wendy Snyder, a spokeswoman for Navy Region Europe said.
The other two are a lieutenant and a master chief petty officer, and their names have not been released.
The three were transferred from Gaeta to Naples on Monday “because the captain was not happy with their performance,” Snyder said.
The officers are working on “operational and transformation” projects, she said.
McCracken was named officer-in-charge in February after Gaeta became a detachment of NSA Naples.
“When the command climate is not good, [the commanding officer] has to take a hard look at things and make changes to make things better,” Snyder said.
Also citing privacy concerns, officials declined to give detailed accounts of incidents and reasons that led to the transfer.
But an incident in which three Gaeta-based sailors were picked up after allegedly beating and robbing an Italian near Rome several weeks ago solidified Hehe’s decision to make the transfer, Snyder said.
The three sailors have not been charged with a crime in the Italian legal system, even though they were arrested following the alleged incident of Sept. 2, and spent a weekend in an Italian jail.
“The matter is still in the investigation phase. There is conflicting information,” Snyder said.
In a statement issued Thursday, Hehe said, “Our emphasis is on the sailors in Gaeta and I felt that a change in leadership at this time was necessary. … We have many top-notch sailors in Gaeta, who are ready to take the opportunity to excel, and I am anxious to see them do exactly that.”
The Gaeta base, roughly an hour’s drive from Naples, supports the Navy’s 6th Fleet flagship, the USS Mount Whitney, and is home to roughly 200 military and civilian personnel.