Destroyer executive officer fired for 'loss of confidence'

Navy Cmdr. Blandino A. Villanueva


By ANDREW DYER | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: August 18, 2018

SAN DIEGO (Tribune News Service) — Navy Cmdr. Blandino A. Villanueva has been fired as the executive officer of the San Diego-based guided missile destroyer USS Decatur due to "loss of confidence in ability to lead," the Navy said Friday.

The commander of Carrier Strike Group 3, Rear Adm. Michael A. Wettlaufer, relieved Villanueva on Wednesday. The relief was not tied to one specific incident, according to Navy spokesman Cmdr. Patrick Evans.

Villanueva reported to the ship, an Arleigh-Burke class destroyer, in February. He has been temporarily assigned to the staff of the commander of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Naval Surface Force.

Lt. Cmdr Molly Lawton, a department head onboard, has assumed the job temporarily.


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The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) returns to its homeport, Naval Base San Diego on Nov. 14, 2016.

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