Please note the reason for another commander being dismissed back in 2003 was rather interesting. The dismissal followed the failing of a weapons inspection. And the inspection followed an incident highlighted below.
http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2009/aug/ ... -commandi/
Navy Fires Top Officer at Bangor Nuclear Weapons Facility
By Josh Farley (Contact)
Friday, August 21, 2009
BANGOR — Capt. Timothy J. Block, the commanding officer of Bangor’s nuclear weapons facility, has been relieved of duty, according to a Navy spokesman.
Rear Adm. Stephen E. Johnson, the Navy’s director of strategic systems programs, removed Block on Friday because of “a loss of confidence in his ability to continue to lead,” said Cmdr. J.A. “Cappy” Surette, a spokesman at the Pentagon.
“An officer in command has a unique position of trust and responsibility, and has a key role in shaping morale, good order and discipline within the command,” Surette said. “Because of this unique position, his immediate superiors must have full confidence in the officer’s judgment and ability to command.”
Surette said there was no “specific issue or incident” that led to Block’s removal and that public safety was not jeopardized at the facility, which assembles, stores and places nuclear weapons on submarines.
He is the second SWFPac commander in six years to be relieved of duty for “a loss of confidence.” Capt. Keith Lyles — along with his executive officer, weapons officer and command master chief — was dismissed after failing a nuclear weapons inspection.
That inspection came six weeks after a ladder was inadvertently left inside a missile tube on the Trident submarine USS Georgia. As a nuclear missile was being lifted into the tube, the missile’s nose cone was punctured by the ladder and the lifting operation only stopped when the ladder was inches from the nuclear warhead.
The Nov. 7, 2003 incident, which occurred on the Bangor waterfront, was described by a local congressman who had been briefed on it as “serious” but not life-threatening.
Block was about a year into his three-year tour. He has been reassigned and his next duty station has not been determined, Surette said.
Navy Capt. Kevin Zumbar, deputy director of strategic systems programs based in the Washington, D.C., area, will assume command until a permanent replacement is found.
The Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific is home to about one-fourth of the nation’s nuclear weapons, according to a 2006 report by the The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a nuclear weapons watchdog group.