In an unusual move, the U.S. Navy is sending the admiral in command of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Middle East back to Bremerton, pending the outcome of an “inappropriate judgment” investigation.
Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette is being sent back to the USS John C. Stennis’ home port of Bremerton in what the Navy called a temporary reassignment.
The Navy says, in a statement released today, Gaouette is not formally relieved of his command of the Stennis strike group but will be replaced by Rear Adm. Troy M. Shoemaker, who will assume command until the investigation is completed.
It is rare for the Navy to replace a carrier strike group commander during its deployment.
The Navy is not revealing details of the allegations. The statement cites an “accusation of inappropriate leadership judgment” that arose during the strike group’s deployment to the Middle East.
The Stennis group deployed from Bremerton in late August, deploying four months earlier than scheduled. The Stennis made port visits in Thailand and Malaysia on its way to the Middle East.
By LINDA THOMAS