Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Navy Vice Adm. Scott Stearney was found dead in his Bahrain residence, the Navy announced.
Defense officials told CBS News Stearney's Saturday death was considered an "apparent suicide" and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said the Bahraini Ministry of Interior is cooperating on the investigation but no foul play is suspected.
"This is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at 5th Fleet, and for the entire U.S. Navy," Richardson said. "Scott Stearney was a decorated naval warrior. He was a devoted husband and father, and he was a good friend to all of us."
Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, the deputy commander of the 5th Fleet, assumed command and "is maintaining continuity in our responsibilities and posture in the U.S. 5th Fleet," the Navy said in a statement.
He was designated a naval aviator in April 1984 and served in numerous strike fighter squadrons flying the FA-18 Hornet, accumulating more than 4,500 mishap-free flight hours and more than 1,000 carrier-arrested landings.