The command master chief of a San Diego-based helicopter squadron was relieved Tuesday due to allegations of misconduct with a subordinate, Naval Air Forces Pacific officials confirmed.

Master Chief Douglas Steinmetz was relieved by the commanding officer of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8 after a preliminary inquiry revealed evidence that he had “an unduly familiar relationship with a subordinate sailor,” AIRPAC spokesman Cmdr. Ron Flanders said.

Steimetz took on the senior enlisted leadership role in November 2015, according to officials.

Master Chief Jeffrey Owejan has assumed temporary command master chief responsibilities until a permanent replacement is named, officials said.

The squadron provides vertical lift search and rescue, logistics, anti-surface warfare, special operations support and other capabilities as part of Carrier Air Wing 11.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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