The commander of Submarine Group 9 in Washington state opted to give the sailors non-judicial punishment and administrative separation because there wasn't enough evidence to take them to court-martial, officials confirmed.
While the U.S. Navy is certainly doing its part in building up the fleet, its focus on peer-level adversaries like Russia and China is at contention with its responsibility to provide off-shore staging areas for special operations forces.
The aircraft carrier and its escorts departed the Mediterranean Sea on Dec. 4, kept sailing west and exited the 6th Fleet’s area of responsibility a week later. They’re expected to arrive in Norfolk on Dec. 16.
Prodded by a mandate from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to expunge from Navy training anything that fails to make the fleet more lethal and agile as the United States enters a new era of great power competition, leaders are moving to make sure every sailor pulls his or her weight, with a premium placed on job performance.