The commanding officer of the cruiser Anzio was fired Thursday amid allegations of personal misconduct.
Capt. Brian Sorenson was removed by Rear Adm. Bret Batchelder, commander of Carrier Strike Group 8, after he lost confidence in Sorenson’s ability to command. The Navy would not comment further on the dismissal, citing the ongoing investigation. Sorenson, 46, did not respond to phone calls by Friday. could not be immediately reached Thursday night.
After alleged misconduct occurred underway, Sorenson was fired at sea and unceremoniously flown off his cruiser on Sept. 10, a source said.
The Norfolk-based cruiser is at sea conducting a Composite Training Unit Exercise, or COMPTUEX, as part of the Harry S. Truman carrier strike group. The group is scheduled to deploy for seven months this fall. Capt. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of the cruiser Vella Gulf, has assumed command of Anzio. Because the Vella Gulf is in the yard and Anzio is soon to deploy, Castellano's switch will be permanent and a replacement skipper will be dispatched to Vella Gulf, said Lt. Cmdr. Myers Vasquez, a Naval Surface Force Atlantic spokesman.
Sorenson, who assumed command of Anzio in November 2014, has been reassigned to SURFLANT. Earlier this year, he led a relatively junior Anzio crew in the multi-national Joint Warrior exercise — the largest of its kind in Europe. Prior to taking Anzio's helm, he had served as commodore of Afloat Training Group Atlantic; commanding officer of destroyer Mitscher; and deputy commodore for Destroyer Squadron 26. Sorenson is a 1991 Naval Academy graduate.
This is SURFLANT's third firing of a skipper in the past month.
Loss of confidence cost Cmdr. Patrick Foster command of the destroyer Barry on Aug. 21, mere months before the ship is to change its homeport to Yokosuka, Japan. In addition, CMDCM (SW/AW) Torrence Kelly, who was in the job on the Barry for five months, was relieved due to substandard performance.
Three days earlier, Lt. Cmdr. Alisha Hamilton was relieved as commanding officer of the patrol coastal ship Shamal following preliminary findings of an on-going command investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior.