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XO of riverine squadron fired after 2 boats grounded

Jul. 16, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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Capt. Adrian Garcia was fired Tuesday from his job as executive officer in a reserve riverine squadron. (Navy via Facebook)

The Navy fired the second-in-command of a Jacksonville, Fla.-based reserve riverine squadron Tuesday after an investigation found he “demonstrated unsound judgment” prior to the grounding of two patrol boats in April when he had been the acting commanding officer, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command said in a Tuesday night news release.

In the April 13 incident, a 34-foot patrol boat struck a jetty near the shipping channel into Charleston, S.C., for reasons that remain unclear; three crew members were hospitalized. A second patrol boat later scraped a rock nearby while keeping watch on the disabled boat, which had submerged.

Coastal Riverine Group 2 convened a command investigation that found the acting commanding officer of Coastal Riverine Squadron 10, Capt. Adrian Garcia, “demonstrated unsound judgment and poor operational risk management decision-making, failing to take responsible steps to prevent the incident from happening,” the NECC release said.

Garcia, 48, did not immediately respond to emails, a phone message or a Facebook message seeking comment. Garcia is a 1987 Virginia Military Institute graduate and holds a master’s degree from the Naval War College, according to his Facebook profile.

A surface warfare reserve officer, Garcia was the officer in charge of the processing center for Navy individual augmentees at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in 2011 and 2012 and is a recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Combat Action Ribbon, three Meritorious Service Medals, a Joint Service Commendation Medal and three Navy Commendation Medals, as well as numerous other campaign and personal awards, according to Navy personnel records.

Capt. James Hamblet, the CO of CRG 2, fired Garcia, who has been replaced as XO temporarily by Cmdr. Clay Wild.

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