USS Pennsylvania commander relieved of duty for 'loss of confidence' in leadership
By THE KITSAP SUN (TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE) Published: June 27, 2017
BANGOR, Wash. — The blue crew commander of the Naval Base Kitsap-based submarine USS Pennsylvania was relieved of command Friday after less than six months on the job, Navy officials confirmed to the Navy Times Monday.
Cmdr. Steven Everhart was relieved by Capt. Mark Schmall, head of Submarine Squadron 17, because of a loss of confidence in his ability to serve as commanding officer, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Corey Barker told the publication via email.
Everhart, from Great Falls, Mont., took command of the Ohio-class ballistic missile boat's blue crew on Jan. 13. He previously served as the executive officer of the Pennsylvania's blue crew from 2012-2014, according to information available on the Navy's website.
Confidence in Everhart's leadership began waning during an investigation that began about a month ago, according to the Navy Times. Barker wouldn't say what the nature of that investigation entails, because the probe is ongoing.
Everhart has been reassigned to the staff of Submarine Group Nine, Barker said.
Capt. Chad Hennings, Submarine Squadron 17's deputy commander, has assumed command of the boat until a permanent replacement is named.
Submarine Squadron 17 and Submarine Squadron 19 are both under Submarine Group Nine, which is responsible for eight Trident ballistic-missile subs based at Bangor. Squadron 17 oversees them when they are active, Squadron 19 when they're undergoing overhaul.
The eight submarines assigned to Subgroup Nine are the Pennsylvania, USS Henry M. Jackson, USS Alabama, USS Kentucky, USS Nebraska, USS Maine and USS Louisiana and USS Nevada.
A Subgroup Nine spokesperson could not be reached for comment.