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Lemoore Hornet squadron CO fired on deployment

Mar. 11, 2011 - 04:47PM   |   Last Updated: Mar. 11, 2011 - 04:47PM  |  
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Cmdr. Kevin D. Harms was fired March 9. (Navy)

SAN DIEGO — The commander of a Lemoore, Calif.-based F/A-18 Hornet squadron was fired Wednesday and was given nonjudicial punishment Thursday for allegedly violating military ethics rules, a Navy spokesman said Friday.

Cmdr. Kevin Harms, who commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 137 aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, was relieved from command by strike group commander Rear Adm. Mark Guadagnini "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command," said Lt. Aaron Kakiel, a Naval Air Forces spokesman in Coronado, Calif.

Guadagnini, who commands Carrier Strike Group 9, fired Harms. On Thursday, during an admiral's mast. Guadagnini found him guilty of violating Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice after an investigation confirmed that the commander had violated a Defense Department joint ethics regulation, Kakiel said. Harms received unspecified nonjudicial punishment. Kakiel said he could not provide any details about the offense and punishment.

Capt. David Silkey, deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing 2, took temporary command of the squadron until a permanent replacement is named. The Abraham Lincoln is visiting Hawaii on its way home from a six-month deployment to 5th Fleet and the Western Pacific.

Kakiel said Harms, who is awaiting reassignment, had recently taken command of the squadron. He has been an F/A-18 pilot since 1996 and graduated from the "Top Gun" Navy Fighter Weapons School in 2000, according to the Navy.

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