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Navy commander relieved of duty for accident that caused $1M in damage to USS Georgia

By Doug G. Ware   |   Jan. 5, 2016 at 5:22 PM

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A U.S. Navy submarine commander was relieved of his duties this week after an incident in November in which he damaged a submarine upon returning to port, officials said.

Capt. Dave Adams was relieved Monday and reassigned at Submarine Group 10.

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On Nov. 25, Adams was returning the USS Georgia, a nuclear-powered submarine, to King's Bay, Ga., when the vessel hit a channel buoy and ran aground. Rear Adm. Randy Crites, who relieved Adams of his command duties Monday, cited a loss in confidence for the decision.

"Commanding officers are held to the highest standards of professional conduct and accept the responsibility of command with full regard for its consequences," the Navy said in a news release on its website Tuesday.

Damage sustained by the USS Georgia submarine has been estimated at roughly $1 million, the Pentagon said, and was limited to the exterior.

The investigation into the Nov. 25 incident is ongoing, officials said.

Capt. William Breitfelder, deputy commander of Submarine Squadron 16, will temporarily assume command of the USS Georgia until a permanent relief is assigned.

The USS Georgia, built by General Dynamics in the late 1970s and early 1980s, has been in service with the U.S. Navy since being commissioned in February 1984. It is an Ohio-class submarine, which is a designation of the Navy's nuclear-powered fleet -- all of which are named after states of the union. The Ohio-class vessels are the largest submarines in service with the Navy.

In March 1986, the Georgia was involved in an accident with a tugboat near Midway Island in the North Pacific that killed two sailors. In 2003, three enlisted sailors were court-martialed and four officers, including a commander, were relieved of duty for not following proper protocol while offloading nuclear missiles from the sub.

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