The commanding officer of Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic was fired on Thursday, the Navy said.

Rear Adm. Joseph Hornbuckle, head of Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers, removed Capt. Paul Choate of command “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to a Wednesday statement from the Navy.

Choate, who previously served as the executive officer of Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic starting in 2020, has been reassigned to Command, Fleet Readiness Centers.

Capt. Richard Foster, executive officer of Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic, was scheduled to take over for Choate in December and is now serving as commanding officer.

The command is based out of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is responsible for providing maintenance to aircraft that include the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets and the the E-2 Hawkeye.

Choate earned the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq in 2006 and 2007 working to safeguard U.S. and allied forces from improvised explosive devices, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported in 2008. Choate spearheaded an effort while leading a team of 200 that reduced the installation time of jamming devices on vehicles like SUVs and Humvees, according to the outlet.

Choate, originally from Saigon, Vietnam, enlisted in the Navy in 1986 and served as an avionics technician. He completed tours as an aircrewman with Fleet Reconnaissance Squadron 4 and an instructor with Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit before commissioning in 1996 after graduating from University of Oklahoma.

Choate was one of at least seven Navy commanding officers relieved in 2023.

In August, the Navy ousted the commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer Howard after the ship suffered a “soft grounding” near Bali.

The Navy did not explicitly say the firing and the grounding were connected.

In July, the Navy removed Navy Reserve Center Springfield’s commanding officer after he was arrested and charged for allegedly choking his mother and stepfather in a hotel room.

The commanding officers of the guided-missile destroyers Carney, John Finn and Stout also were relieved in 2023 as well as the commanding officer of the amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde.

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