US Navy sub engineer temporarily relieved of duty
by Michael Melia, Associated Press
September 07, 2012 01:15 PM | 312 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A Navy officer with responsibility for a submarine’s nuclear plant was temporarily relieved of duty in May after the commanding officer became aware of a potential problem with training exams, a Navy spokesman said.

The crew of the ballistic missile submarine, the USS Rhode Island, conducted an investigation during a deployment and found the training program had not been compromised, said Navy Lt. Brian Wierzbicki, a spokesman for a submarine group based in Georgia. The engineer was reinstated without disciplinary action.

Wierzbicki said he could not provide details on what prompted the engineer’s removal.

“The commanding officer has a right and responsibility to look into things,” Wierzbicki said. “It was brought to his attention there might be an issue. He looked into it and it was resolved.”

The Navy on Friday denied a Freedom of Information Act request by The Associated Press for the investigation documents, citing protections for information concerning national defense and foreign policy.

In July, the Navy said it had investigated and dismissed allegations that widespread cheating had tainted training exams administered to enlisted sailors and officers in the submarine force. The investigation began with a complaint that originated in Groton, Conn., where the commanding officer of the attack submarine USS Memphis was relieved of duty over an exam-cheating scandal in 2010.

The Rhode Island, which was commissioned in 1994, is an Ohio class submarine based at Georgia’s Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, the East Coast hub for the Navy’s nuclear missile-armed submarines.

Wierzbicki said the investigation revealed an “administrative training issue” with the exams administered through a continuing education program, and not an integrity violation.

“Our sailors are held to the highest standards,” he said. “In order for our Navy to remain the world’s most ready, capable and professional force, our sailors are expected to live by the core values of honor, courage and commitment.”

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