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Navy fires CO of destroyer Arleigh Burke

The commanding officer of a Norfolk-based warship was relieved of command Thursday, according to Navy officials.

Cmdr. John Gaines was removed as head of the guided-missile destroyer Arleigh Burke after higher-ups lost confidence in his ability to command “due to self-reported misconduct,” U.S. 2nd Fleet spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Ashley Hockycko said in an email.

Gaines' boss, Rear Adm. Craig Clapperton, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 12, has started an investigation, Hockycko said.

“Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, it would be inappropriate to discuss further details,” she said.

Capt. Chris Follin has assumed command of the warship and Gaines has been temporarily reassigned to Surface Forces Atlantic.

A Class of 2000 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Gaines served as the ship’s executive officer before taking command last year, according to the USS Arleigh Burke Association.

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