Admiral relieved of nuclear arsenal duties amid investigation
WASHINGTON — The deputy commander of nuclear forces, Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, was notified on Wednesday that he has been relieved of duty amid a military investigation of allegations that he used counterfeit chips in an Iowa casino, the Navy said.
The move is exceedingly rare and perhaps unprecedented in the history of Strategic Command, which is responsible for all American nuclear war fighting forces, including nuclear-armed submarines, bombers and land-based missiles.
The Navy's top spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Giardina, who had held the job since December 2011, is being reassigned to the Navy staff to await the outcome of the probe by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The gambling matter originated as a local law enforcement investigation in Iowa in June.
As a consequence of being removed from his post at Strategic Command, Giardina falls in rank to a two-star admiral. He was suspended by Gen. Robert Kehler, the top commander at Strategic Command, on Sept. 3, although that move was not disclosed publicly until Sept. 28.
After his suspension, Giardina remained at Strategic Command but was not allowed to perform duties that required use of his security clearance.
The decision to take the next step — to relieve him of duty — was made on Oct. 3, one official said. That required approval by President Obama, two Defense officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss internal decision-making.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cost of taking fight to ISIS pegged at $2.4B to $6.8B a year
- 3 whistle-blowers in VA scandal settle complaints they were punished
- Qantas matches biggest plane, longest air route
- Schools grapple with immigration overload
- NSA relies on 1981 executive order signed by Reagan
- FAA reviews contingency plans, security policies after Chicago air traffic control center fire
- Intruder made it to East Room of White House, overpowered Secret Service officer
- Police link 2 more cases to University of Virginia suspect
- Weather extremes linked to global warming
- Indian premier stars at New York rally
- Test cheating scheme in Atlanta goes to trial