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Navy removes commander of Norfolk Naval Shipyard from post

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gregthomasCaptain Greg Thomas, the commander of Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), was yesterday formally reprimanded by Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy for violating Article 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

The action was based on substantiated allegations from a formal investigation by the Naval Inspector General into the command climate and Thomas’ treatment of subordinates under his command. He was also permanently relieved of command of NNSY and reassigned to administrative duties.

Captain Thomas took command of the shipyard in September 2010. On May 25, 2011, he was assigned to temporary duty in Washington, D.C., at NAVSEA headquarters pending completion of the investigation. Rear Adm. Joseph Campbell has served as the acting shipyard commander since June 2011 and will continue to do so until a new commanding officer is identified.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., is one of NAVSEA’s four shipyards specializing in repairing, overhauling and modernizing ships and submarines.

A report in the Virginian-Pilot Thomas cites NAVSEA spokesman Chris Johnson as saying that Captain Thomas’s treatment of subordinates included abusive language and that his removal was “solely associated with leadership behavior,” Johnson said.

Before the investigation that led to his removal, Captain Thomas had been selected for promotion to rear admiral. Any further decision on his future rank will be a separate action made by Navy Personnel Command, the NAVSEA spokesman told the Virginian-Pilot.

The Virgian-Pilots story notes that  “Thomas’ predecessor, Capt. William Kiestler, was relieved of duty in June 2010 after a year on the job because of a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

“Kiestler was removed for failing to ensure that critical maintenance work was being performed according to procedure and for ‘loss of situational awareness’ of submarine projects.”

October 26, 2011

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