The Navy ousted the commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer Howard on Saturday.

Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, relieved Cmdr. Kenji Igawa from his duties “due to loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the Navy said in a statement Sunday.

Igawa, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2004, previously served as the executive officer of the Howard. He became the commanding officer of the ship in December 2022.

“Cmdr. Igawa will be administratively reassigned to the staff of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet,” the Navy said in a statement Sunday.

Former commanding officer of the guided-missile cruiser Robert Smalls, Capt. Edward Angelinas, will stand in as commanding officer until a permanent replacement is identified.

No other details were immediately available.

The Howard is based in Yokosuka, Japan and is assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 15.

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