USA: Ex-Guardian’s Leadership Relieved

The commanding officer (CO) of ex-Guardian and three other crewmembers were relieved of their duties on April 3 by commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7.

The reliefs are the result of an ongoing U.S. Navy investigation into the facts and circumstances of the Jan. 17 grounding in the Sulu Sea of USS Guardian (MCM 5). The initial investigation findings clearly indicate that the CO, Lt. Cmdr. Mark A. Rice; the executive officer (XO)/navigator, Lt. Daniel Tyler; the assistant navigator; and the officer of the deck at the time of the grounding did not adhere to standard U.S. Navy navigation procedures. The U.S. Navy has the highest accountability standards, and all four Sailors were relieved by Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley due to their role in the grounding and a loss of confidence.

All four Sailors have been temporarily assigned to ESG-7 pending the completion of the investigation.

The salvage and removal of the ex-Guardian from Tubbataha Reef was completed on March 29. USS Warrior (MCM 10) has been forward deployed to Sasebo Japan to replace ex-Guardian.

Naval Today Staff, April 4, 2013