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Commander and sailor relieved of duties on Pearl Harbor sub

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 02:41 p.m. HST, May 01, 2012


The commanding officer and senior enlisted sailor on the Pearl Harbor-based submarine USS Columbia were relieved of duties today for "shortfalls in professional performance" leading to a loss of confidence in their ability to serve in positions of command authority, the Navy said.

Cmdr. Dennis J. Klein and chief of the boat Master Chief Electronics Technician (Submarines) Don W. Williams were relieved of duties by the commander of Submarine Squadron 7 at Pearl Harbor, according to officials.

"The U.S. Navy holds those in positions of command to very high standards and accountable when those standards are not met. When those in leadership positions fail to meet these high standards and superiors lose confidence in their ability to lead, they are removed from positions of command authority," said Cmdr. Christy Hagen, public affairs officer for the U.S. Pacific Fleet submarine force.

Klein, who in August of 2010 took command of Columbia, a Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine, has been administratively reassigned to the Pacific command's staff.

Capt. Dennis Boyer, deputy commander of Submarine Squadron 7, has assumed command of Columbia until a permanent replacement is named, the Navy said. Boyer previously commanded the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Miami.

Williams, who reported as chief of the boat of Columbia in September 2009, has been administratively reassigned to the staff of Naval Submarine Support Command at Pearl Harbor.

Command Master Chief (Submarines) Manuel Meneses, the Submarine Squadron 7 command master chief, has assumed responsibilities as chief of the boat until a replacement is named, the Navy said. Meneses previously served as chief of the boat aboard the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Philadelphia.


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BillD wrote:
What happened? They get into a fist fight aboard the boat?
on May 1,2012 | 02:04PM
Highinthesierras wrote:
Cat fight?
on May 1,2012 | 03:56PM
cojef wrote:
Unfortunate for 2 individuals of the Navy, who have been relieved of duties for "shortfall in professional performance". Their future careers in the Navy will forever be questioned. They will be assigned permanently to shore duties if they choose to remain in the service with no possible opportunity for promotion. The senior enlisted serviceman is at the top of his career ladder, so it matters not what. However, it will be the most disappointing aspect of his career. For the commander, it may be the end of his career, as one cannot remain the same grade for any length of time, I think. Not certain about this, as there was an "overage age in grade" cliche` in the service. Meaning you gotta go.
on May 1,2012 | 02:06PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Can he/they take his skills into the "real world" and make a go of it?
on May 1,2012 | 03:20PM
serious wrote:
Always room in the Secret Service!
on May 1,2012 | 05:20PM
SmedleyFerndock wrote:
If the state and city used the same criteria for evaluating the performance of heads of departments and heads of bureaus, it would be a much better palace to live. In Hawaii if you didn't actually commit a crime against humanity with video proof you walk or are completely absolved from responsibility. The Navy nuclear community has had a nickname for many years that they eat their own. The definition is there is no acceptance to any failure to follow all rules and regulations.
on May 1,2012 | 06:11PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
They should do a community service pay-per-view event. Have a brawl for charity, maybe the proceeds could go to the wounded warriors fund.
on May 1,2012 | 10:32PM
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