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Navy relieves 16th commanding officer

Cmdr. Robert M. Brown was relieved of command from Beachmaster Unit Two due to loss of confidence in his ability to command, according to the Navy.

COURTESY OF U.S. NAVY

By GEOFF ZIEZULEWICZ | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 8, 2011

NAPLES, Italy — The Navy has relieved its 16th commanding officer this year. Cmdr. Robert M. Brown from Beachmaster Unit Two was relieved due to loss of confidence in his ability to command, according to the Navy.

Rear Adm. Dave Thomas, commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic, removed Brown during an investigation into allegations of “various ethics violations to include misuse of government resources and the improper disposal of government equipment,” according to a SURFLANT release.

The allegations came to light during an Inspector General investigation started by Thomas on July 18, following a complaint, the release states.

The investigation “has substantiated two allegations of misuse of government resources at this time,” according to the Navy release.

Lt. Cmdr. Bill Urban, a spokesman for SURFLANT, said in an email Monday that the investigation continues.

The allegations of government resources misuse and improper disposal of government equipment “were severe enough to warrant an immediate relief due to loss of confidence in Brown’s ability to command prior to the completion of the investigation,” Urban said.

Capt. Michael Ott will command BMU 2 until the investigation is complete, according to the release.

BMU 2 provides tactical components in support of amphibious operations for beach landing and movement operations, according to the unit’s Web page. It is based at Virginia’s Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

Brown is the seventh Navy commander relieved this year for “loss of confidence.”

In all of 2010, 17 commanding officers were relieved of command.

Geoffz@estripes.osd.mil

Twitter: @Stripes_GeoffZ