The Navy relieved Cmdr. Tim Rhatigan of his command of the Norfolk-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 on Friday, citing a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

Rhatigan had been with the unit since May 2016, according to Naval Air Forces Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. Dave Hecht.

Hecht declined to say why Rhatigan was fired.

“Command leaders are entrusted to uphold the highest standards of personal and professional conduct at all times,” he said in an email. “Meeting these high standards of conduct is as critical as meeting our high standards of material, personnel and operational readiness.”

Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic Deputy Commodore Capt. Shawn Bailey has assumed temporary command of the squadron, Hecht said.

The squadron’s second-in-command, Cmdr. Matthew Persiani, is slated to take charge of the unit in a few months, according to Hecht.

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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