In rare move, 3 of Navy destroyer's leaders removed

Cmdr. Curtis B. Calloway


By HUGH LESSIG | (Newport News, Va.) Daily Press (MCT) | Published: October 11, 2014

An investigation into the command climate aboard a Norfolk, Va.-based destroyer at sea has resulted in discipline against three of its former leaders.

Cmdr. Curtis Calloway, the former commanding officer of the James E. Williams, was found derelict of duty, as was Cmdr. Ed Handley, the former executive officer who had been scheduled to take command of the ship, according to a news release from U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

In addition, Command Master Chief Travis Biswell was found to be drunk and disorderly, as well as derelict of duty.

The discipline, known as a nonjudicial punishment, was levied by Capt. Fred Pyle, the commander of Destroyer Squadron 2.

Last month, the Navy replaced Calloway as commanding officer pending the outcome of an investigation into the command climate on the ship.

He was reassigned to a staff job at Naval Surface Force Atlantic along with Handley and Biswell. The three are expected to remain there pending final action by Navy Personnel Command, according to the Fleet Forces release.

Removing three of a Navy ship's top leaders is considered rare.

The James E. Williams departed Naval Station Norfolk on May 30 for an eight-month deployment, and it has been participating in security operations and exercises with U.S. Africa Command.

Cmdr. Heidi Haskins has been named the next commanding officer. She will join Cmdr. Chad Fella, the new executive officer, and Command Master Chief Asa Worcester. Those two have already reported to the ship.

©2014 the (Newport News, Va.) Daily Press. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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