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Navy relieves commander of Pearl sub after periscope mishap

By William Cole

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:25 a.m. HST, Feb 11, 2013

Star-Advertiser / 2010Two officers aboard the Pearl Harbor-based submarine USS Jacksonville were relieved of duty Sunday after an accident in the Persian Gulf last month.

The Navy Sunday relieved of duties the commanding officer and executive officer of the attack submarine USS Jacksonville, based at Pearl Harbor, after the sub’s periscope struck a vessel while operating in the Persian Gulf Jan. 10, officials said.

The relief of commanding officer Cmdr. Nathan Sukols and executive officer Lt. Cmdr. Lauren Allen came following an investigation and administrative hearing known as an “admiral’s mast,” held in Manama, Bahrain, the Navy said.

The commander of Task Force 54, Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, relieved Sukols “due to loss of confidence in Sukols’ ability to command,” and Allen “due to loss of confidence in Allen’s ability to serve in the capacity of executive officer,” according to a Navy release.

The Navy said Sawyer “also reviewed the actions of other Jacksonville crewmembers and held accountable those whose actions did not meet the high standards we expect.”

The additional disciplinary action taken was not identified.

Sukols and Allen have been reassigned to administrative duties at the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force at Pearl Harbor.

No one was hurt when the periscope on Jacksonville, a Los Angeles-class submarine, struck a vessel while operating in the Persian Gulf Jan. 10 at approximately 5 a.m., U.S. Naval Forces Central Command public affairs said previously in a release. 

Jacksonville then surfaced from periscope depth to determine if there was any damage to the unidentified vessel. The vessel continued on a consistent course and speed offering no indication of distress or acknowledgement of a collision, the Navy said.

The submarine’s reactor remained in a safe condition, the Navy previously said, and there was no damage to the propulsion plant systems or concern regarding watertight integrity.

A U.S. P-3 Orion aircraft conducted a search of the area and saw no debris in the water or vessels in distress.

Damage was limited to one of Jacksonville’s two periscopes, the Navy said.






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