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Navy relieves commanding officer of USS Arleigh Burke due to 'loss of confidence'

By KATHERINE HAFNER | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: September 4, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — Cmdr. John Gaines was relieved Thursday as commanding officer of the Norfolk-based USS Arleigh Burke due to “a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the Navy said in a news release.

The move came from Rear Adm. Craig Clapperton, commander of Carrier Strike Group 12, according to the statement.

Navy officials did not immediately respond to a request for more information but told Military.com Thursday that Clapperton had initiated an ongoing investigation “due to self-reported personal misconduct.”

Gaines has been temporarily assigned to Surface Forces Atlantic, the Navy said in the news release.

Capt. Chris Follin, commander of Destroyer Squadron 2, is filling the role on the destroyer until permanent relief is assigned.

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