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Admiral cited in Enterprise probe fired

Mar. 4, 2011 - 09:43AM   |   Last Updated: Mar. 4, 2011 - 09:43AM  |  
(U.S. Navy)
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A Singapore-based admiral has been relieved for failing to put a stop to the controversial "XO Movie Night" videos aired while he commanded the carrier Enterprise.

Rear Adm. Ron Horton was fired as commander of Logistics Group, Western Pacific, by Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Patrick Walsh. Walsh said he based his decision on the findings of Fleet Forces Command's investigation, released Thursday afternoon in Norfolk, Va. That inquiry looked into the controversial videos and their production but particularly at the actions taken, if any, by senior leaders who were aware of the film clips.

Horton commanded the carrier from May 2007 through May 2010; investigators determined that videos containing objectionable and often racy content aired on ship-wide closed-circuit TV aboard Enterprise from October 2005 through December 2007.

Walsh said he lost confidence in Horton's ability to command. Specifically, he said he made the move over Horton's failing to "hold himself responsible for the professional decorum of the ship and with it, the obligation to play an active role in the command climate for the crew … [to] provide adequate guidance and oversight; and [to] take prudent measures to ensure compliance with Navy standards."

"There is no higher responsibility in the U.S. Navy than that of command," Walsh said. "Individuals in command are expected to uphold the Navy's core values of honor, courage, and commitment, which includes maintaining a command climate based on professionalism and respect."

The admiral who led the investigation, Fleet Forces chief Adm. John Harvey, had already recommended that likely career-damaging secretarial letters of censure be issued to Horton, Rear Adm. Larry Rice — who preceded Horton as Enterprise commander from December 2004 through May 2007 — and the two executive officers who served under the two commanders: Capt. Owen Honors, who had risen to command the carrier himself before Harvey fired him Jan. 4 after learning of the videos, and Capt. John Dixon, who followed Honors.

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