Navy Relieves Commanding Officer Of Hospital Ship USNS Comfort

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U.S. Navy

Capt. Kevin Knoop with U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski in May 2013

Capt. Kevin J. Knoop, commanding officer of the hospital ship USNS Comfort, was relieved of his duties this week. The commander of Military Sealift Command, Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon, sacked Knoop because of a "loss of confidence in (his) ability to command," according to Military Sealift Command Public Affairs.

An investigation into Knoop's activities identified "command climate issues and a lack of leadership involvement" as reasons for the dismissal.

For the time being, Capt. Rachel Haltner will serve as commanding officer until the Navy finds a permanent replacement.

The Navy has temporarily reassigned Knoop to Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth.

The Comfort began sea life as a Navy oil tanker launched from San Diego, California called the SS Rose City. The USNS Comfort is currently homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.