Naval Ordnance Test Unit CO Relieved

Story Number: NNS140218-12Release Date: 2/18/2014 1:45:00 PM
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From Strategic Systems Programs Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Director, Strategic Systems Programs Vice Adm. Terry Benedict relieved Capt. John P. Heatherington, commanding officer of Naval Ordnance Test Unit (NOTU), Cape Canaveral, Fla., of his duties Feb. 18 due to loss of confidence in Heatherington's ability to command and for promoting an unprofessional command climate that was contrary to good order and discipline.

Heatherington was relieved and received non-judicial punishment (NJP) after a thorough command investigation revealed circumstances related to a command-sponsored, off-duty event. He failed to prevent members of his command from wrongfully soliciting items of monetary value and accepting items of value from a company doing business with the Department of Defense. He also wrongfully affiliated the U.S. Navy with businesses that are not representative of the Navy and DoD's high standards.

The mission of NOTU is to support and test sea based weapons systems. The circumstances in question are not related to NOTU's mission. Safety, security and integrity have not been compromised. No impact on NOTU's ability to continue their mission is expected.

Capt. Kevin R. Brenton, deputy director for SSP, has assumed duties as commanding officer. A permanent relief will report later this year. Heatherington's reassignment is pending.

NOTU's senior enlisted leader, Master Chief Petty Officer Eric Spindle, was also relieved of his duties for similar reasons. Command Master Chief(SS) Victor Smith, SSP CMC, has assumed duties as senior enlisted leader for NOTU.

For questions related to this release, contact SSP public affairs officer, John M. Daniels, at (202) 433-7013 or

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