The commanding officer of the cruiser Antietam was fired Tuesday, a month after his ship ran aground during a botched anchoring operating in Tokyo Bay, according to a release from U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Capt. Joseph Carrigan was relieved "due to a loss of confidence" in his ability to command the Yokosuka-based ship. The Jan. 31 grounding badly damaged the ship's two propellers and dumped about 1,100 gallons of oil into the bay.
"The relief follows an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding a grounding that occurred on Jan. 31 in waters near Yokosuka, Japan," according the Navy statement. "While the investigation is still under review by leadership, sufficient findings of fact emerged during the investigation to warrant the relief of the commanding officer."
Grounding a ship is almost always a career killer for a ship CO, though in rare circumstances the Navy will find that there were mitigating circumstances. The ultimate responsibility for the safety of the ship lies with the CO, the release said.
"With ultimate responsibility for the safety and well-being of the ship and the lives of sailors, commanding officers are held to the highest standards of accountability and must have the full confidence of Navy leaders," the release reads.
Capt. Jonathan Duffy, deputy commander of the Destroyer Squadron 15, has assumed command of the Antietam. Carrigan has been reassigned to U.S. Seventh Fleet headquarters in Yokosuka.
Plans to repair the Antietam have not yet been finalized, according to the release.
Up to this point, Carrigan has had a stellar Navy career, with a handful of joint, Pentagon and Capitol Hill postings that mark the bios of rising-star officers.
He has worked in the strategy and policy shop inside the Chief of Naval Operations, and inside U.S. Central Command. He has worked as a speechwriter for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and a senior aide to the Pentagon’s Director for Strategic Plans and Policy. He was also a military liaison to the office Sen. Jeff Sessions, now the Attorney General.
At sea, the career surface warfare officer has served as the executive officer of the destroyer Nitze, and commanded the destroyer Russell. He also served on the frigates Aubrey Fitch and Vandegrift, as well as the cruiser Lake Champlain.