The Navy relieved the commanding officer of the Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center on Monday due to a loss of confidence “following a series of leadership and oversight failures at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility,” the service said.

Capt. Albert Lee Hornyak has served as the commanding officer since August 2021, and Red Hill has historically suffered fuel leaks in the past. But his ouster comes days after the Navy kicked off another investigation into another fuel release at the Red Hill facility on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

According to the service, that fuel release consisted of no more than 30 gallons of a mixture of water and fuel near tanks 13 and 14 at the storage facility.

Rear Adm. Kristin Acquavella, special assistant to the commander at NAVSUP, will serve as the commanding officer in the interim until a permanent replacement is identified, the Navy said.

NAVSUP commanding officer Rear Adm. Peter Stamatopoulos will also designate additional senior fuel subject matter experts to help Acquavella.

In November 2021, a fuel leak from the same storage facility contaminated roughly 9,000 military families’ drinking water, and prompted thousands to seek treatment for nausea, headaches, rashes and other conditions.

The Red Hill well was initially shut down following reports that the water smelled like fuel, but officials originally claimed it was still safe to drink. Testing days later revealed petroleum products were present in the water.

Following an effort to flush the Navy’s water distribution system, the Hawaii Department of Health declared that the water in the final four of all 19 zones within the Navy water system was safe for drinking, bathing, cooking and cleaning on March 18.

The facility has previously experienced fuel leaks, including in 2014 when one of the tanks leaked 27,000 gallons.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered the closure of the Red Hill facility last month, and the Navy and Defense Logistics Agency leadership have until the end of May to create a plan for “safe and expeditious defueling” of Red Hill.

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