Two high-ranking officers aboard a US Navy ship were relieved of their duties Thursday due to “loss of confidence in their ability to command,” the Navy said.
Cmdr. Richard J. Zamberlan and Cmdr. Phillip Lundberg of the USS Montgomery both lost their posts in an unusual move by Navy officials to remove both the commander and the executive officer. Cmdr. Dustin Lonero, the executive officer of the USS Coronado, will take command until the Navy can decide on a new permanent captain.
The Navy has not clarified the reasons the couple were relieved, but a San Diego Navy official with knowledge of the ship but not authorized to comment publicly told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the move was linked to a “poorly handled sexual harassment complaint”. on the ship.
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The two men were reassigned to the Naval Surface Force Pacific.
Naval Surface Force spokesperson Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman confirmed to the Union-Tribune that the force had opened an investigation into the case, but declined to comment further, saying it would be “inappropriate” to do so at this time.
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Zamberlan previously commanded the USS Omaha and the USS Kansas City before being transferred to the Tulsa.
Lundberg was previously a department head aboard the USS Shoup.
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Both men served on the Montgomery as part of its “blue crew,” one of two crews that rotate in order to maintain the ship’s “minimum manning” model.