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Navy relieves executive officer of USS Chung-Hoon

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 6:40 p.m. HST, Sep 20, 2012

A Navy officer slated to be the next commander of the Pearl Harbor-based destroyer USS Chung-Hoon was instead relieved of duties Wednesday, the Navy said.

Cmdr. David Faught, the executive officer of the 509-foot guided missile destroyer, was relieved “for loss of confidence in his ability to perform the duties of an XO (executive officer),” said Lt. Rick Chernitzer, a spokesman for Naval Surface Force Pacific in Coronado, Calif.

Capt. Wallace G. Lovely, the commander of Destroyer Squadron 31 at Pearl Harbor, made the decision to relieve Faught, Chernitzer said.

“It’s not due to any kind of misconduct or anything of that sort,” Chernitzer said.

Faught, a Guam native and Naval Academy graduate, had been second in command on the Chung-Hoon since September of 2011.

He was expected to become the commander of the Chung-Hoon, as part of what the Navy calls a “fleet-up billet.” Typically, an officer spends 18 months as executive officer and then becomes commanding officer, Chernitzer said.

“During that time he performed his jobs, and as needed, he would be given direction and guidance from his commanding officer and they would try to do everything they could to correct deficiencies, as needed,” Chernitzer said.

The Chung-Hoon participated in the exercise Valiant Shield Sept. 11 through Wednesday off Guam, but Faught was not aboard for personal reasons unrelated to his job removal, Chernitzer said.

The Navy said Faught has been reassigned to the staff of Destroyer Squadron 31 pending a new assignment. Faught could not be reached for comment.

According to a Navy Times count, 16 commanding officers and four executive officers have been fired by the service this year.

“It’s not a matter of being tough (on officers), it’s a matter of making sure that we put the best people in the job, and that’s what we do,” Chernitzer said. 

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