Navy officials want to reinstate fired Theodore Roosevelt captain

25 Avril, 2020, 05:26 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Navy officials want to reinstate fired Theodore Roosevelt captain

Last week Esper said on NBC "Today" that the Department of Defense had not ruled out reinstating Crozier, depending on results of the Navy's leak investigation.

Adm. Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, on Friday recommended to Defense Secretary Mark Esper that Capt. Brett Crozier be reinstated as commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after he was relieved of command earlier this month, ABC News reports.

If approved, his recommendation would end a drama that has rocked the Navy leadership, sent thousands of USS Theodore Roosevelt crew members ashore in Guam for quarantine and impacted the fleet across the Pacific, a region critical to America's national security interests.

Modly came under fire for flying out to the Roosevelt and branding Crozier "naive" and "stupid" for allegedly sharing his letter outside the chain of command.

Mr. Esper received the recommendation on Friday that Captain Crozier be reinstated from the chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael M. Gilday, and the acting Navy secretary, James McPherson. A sailor who had become sick was medically evacuated off the ship and later tested positive for the virus.

Esper said a few days later that he supported then-Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly's decision to relieve Crozier, and so did President Trump; "This isn't a class on literature", the President said of Crozier's leaked memo.

Military officials had said they hoped the findings of the probe would end the ordeal, which has divided the Navy as it battled coronavirus outbreaks among several of its ships' crews.

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Crozier "demonstrated extremely poor judgment in the middle of a crisis" Modly said, accusing him of creating "unnecessary" panic. The carrier eventually docked in Guam and almost 850 of the personnel (out of 4,800) have tested positive for the virus. "Our medical team continues coordinating with the ship and our focus is the safety and well-being of every Sailor". There, as the service did with the Roosevelt's crew, the Navy plans to remove most of its about 330 crew members, test them for the virus and isolate them for at least two weeks, officials said Friday.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper was briefed on the Navy's recommendations Friday afternoon, according to Jonathan Hoffman, the chief spokesman for the Pentagon.

Capt. Crozier on March 30 wrote and distributed a memo pleading for a faster and more thorough response to the outbreak. Esper said he was keeping an "open mind" on the issue. The Navy referred questions to the Pentagon.

The vessel is now operating in the eastern Pacific region carrying out a counter-narcotics mission, according to the officials.

So far, one of the sailors has died of "COVID-related complications" at the intensive care unit of the US Naval Hospital in Guam.

In the latest case, the outbreak aboard the Kidd took place while the vessel was on a counter-narcotics mission in the Caribbean.

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