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2 relieved of command of Navy cruiser

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 6:18 p.m.

SAN DIEGO — The Navy has relieved the skipper of a San Diego-based cruiser because of the results of a ship inspection at its home port.

Navy Lt. Rick Chernitzer said on Wednesday that Capt. Gregory W. Gombert, who was the commanding officer of the USS Cowpens, was relieved because of a loss of confidence in his ability to lead.

The Navy also relieved the ship's command master chief, Master Chief Petty Officer Gabriel J. Keeton.

Chernitzer says the action taken on Tuesday stems from the results of a series of inspections after the ship returned in April from the Western Pacific.

Chernitzer says he could not release more details while the case is under investigation.

Both men have been temporarily reassigned to other duties.

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