Ponce Leadership Relieved


Story Number: NNS110423-02Release Date: 4/23/2011 4:51:00 PM
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From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/ Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F) relieved the commanding officer and executive officer of the Norfolk-based, Austin-class amphibious transport dock USS Ponce (LPD 15) April 23.

Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., relieved Cmdr. Etta Jones, Ponce's commanding officer, due to demonstrated poor leadership, and failure to appropriately investigate, report, and hold accountable Sailors found involved in hazing incidents. Additionally, she failed to properly handle a loaded weapon during a security alert which endangered some of her crew.

The relief of the executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Kurt Boenisch, was due to his failure to provide support to the command and commanding officer.

"Leaders who fail to set proper examples or fail to uphold proper standards, fail to serve our Sailors, our Navy and, ultimately, our nation," said Harris.

Capt. Brad Skillman, deputy commander of Amphibious Squadron Four, has assumed command and will serve as the new commanding officer.

Ponce is deployed in the C6F area of responsibility and is fully ready for any mission tasking.

For more news, visit www.navy.mil.

STORY COMMENTS3 COMMENTS
4/26/2011 12:17:00 PM
Position of leadership does not make you untouchable, it make you accountable. And for too long, leadership have not been held accountable for their insubordinate behavior. For one of these officers, it was not a mistake. This was long overdue!

4/25/2011 11:37:00 AM
These firings have really made the Navy look like a joke, and the role of Skipper/XO/CO marginalized to Geico Caveman status. You're fired. Next! Two prior enlisted senior officers in this case. What a message. I don't think there are very many people serving in uniform that believe there's any just cause for most of these firings. It's a disgusting way to cut manpower. Sabotaging the present to make room for the future. And they're probably still all on-call for war...not decommissioned.

4/25/2011 7:22:00 AM
Another Commanding Officer relieved! I served almost 24 years in the Navy and I don't believe in my entire 24 years in the Navy that the number of Commanding Officers that have been relieved in the last year or so were relieved in that 24 year period. What is going in with the senior leadership in the Navy today?

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