The Navy fired the commanding officer of the guided-missile cruiser Lake Erie Thursday, according to a brief statement from the service.

As with nearly all CO reliefs, officials declined to say why Capt. Danielle DeFant was relieved of command, saying only it was job-performance related and “due to a loss of confidence in her ability to command.”

The prior-enlisted DeFant was commissioned in 1999 and took command of the warship in July 2022, according to service records.

She is being reassigned to Naval Surface Force Pacific, and Capt. Brandon Burkett has been named interim commander of the ship.

The 30-year-old Lake Erie came out of a nearly two-year so-called “selected restricted availability” in December, and is homeported in San Diego.

The Navy hopes to retire Lake Erie in Fiscal Year 2025, but that is subject to Congressional approval, according to the service’s latest shipbuilding plan released this spring.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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