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Commanding Officer of USNS Comfort relieved of duty

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Posted at 2:55 PM, Mar 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-30 14:55:21-04

Norfolk, Va. – Capt. Rachel Haltner was relieved of her duties as commanding officer of the Medical Treatment Facility (MTF), USNS Comfort on March 30th by the Command of Military Sealift Command, Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon.

Capt Haltner Rachel

Capt Haltner Rachel

Shannon cited a loss of confidence in Haltner’s ability to command as the reason for her relief, pending completion of an investigation into the command climate.

Haltner had taken over command of the Comfort in August of 2013 after Shannon relieved the previous CO, Capt. Kevin J. Knoop, also due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

Capt. Miguel Cubano, executive officer of Comfort’s MTF, has temporarily assumed command pending the arrival of Capt. Christine Sears, Fleet Surgeon for the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet, who will assume permanent command of the Comfort.

Haltner has been temporarily reassigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

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