The commanding officer of USS Cowpens (CG 63), Capt. Gregory W. Gombert, and the ship’s command master chief, Master Chief Petty Officer Gabriel J. Keeton, were relieved by Rear Adm. Michael Smith, Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3, on June 10, due to loss of confidence in Gombert’s and Keeton’s ability to effectively lead and carry out their assigned duties.
The loss of confidence stems from the results of a series of inspections following the ship’s return from deployment. An investigation is underway.
Gombert and Keeton have been temporarily re-assigned to CSG 3 and Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet staffs, respectively.
Capt. Robert B. Chadwick II will assume temporary duties as CO, and Master Chief Petty Officer Richard J. Putnam will temporarily assume duties as CMC.
Cowpens is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser homeported in San Diego, and recently returned from a Western Pacific deployment.
Press Release, June 11, 2014; Image: Wikimedia