USS James E. Williams Changes Command

Capt. Fred Pyle, Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2 awarded separate non-judicial punishments (NJP) to three former leaders of USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) Oct. 9.

At the NJP proceedings, Cmdr. Curtis Calloway, former commanding officer; Cmdr. Ed Handley, former executive officer and prospective commanding officer, and Command Master Chief Travis Biswell were found in violation of various articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Specifically:

– Calloway: UCMJ Article 92, Dereliction of Duty
– Handley: UCMJ Article 92, Dereliction of Duty
– Biswell: UCMJ Article 92, Dereliction of Duty and UCMJ Article 134, drunk and disorderly conduct

Cmdr. Heidi Haskins has been identified as the next commanding officer and will take command from Capt. Tony Simmons, DESRON 2 Deputy Commodore. Simmons temporarily assumed command after relieving Calloway Sept. 16 during a change-of-command ceremony.

Haskins will join Executive Officer Cmdr. Chad Fella and Command Master Chief Asa Worcester to lead the crew. Fella reported aboard May 31. Worcester reported aboard Oct. 3.

Calloway, Handley, and Biswell began temporary assignments at Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (CNSL) at the outset of the investigation and are expected to remain there pending final action by Commander, Navy Personnel Command.

The ship and her crew are currently deployed to the 6th Fleet area of operations. While deployed, the crew has participated in security operations, exercises and combined cooperation operations with foreign partners in support of U.S. Africa Command.

Press Release, October 13, 2014; Image: US Navy

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