By: Carl Prine & Geoff Ziezulewicz, 8/20/2019
The Navy on Monday relieved the executive officer of the fast attack submarine Jimmy Carter, due to what officials called “a loss of confidence in his personal judgment.”
“The Navy is investigating questions that have arisen with respect to Lt. Cmdr. (Jonathan) Cebik’s personal conduct," said Cmdr. Cindy Fields, the spokeswoman for Commander Submarine Forces Pacific, in a Tuesday email to Navy Times.
“The U.S. Navy holds its leaders, including executive officers, to very high standards and they are held accountable when those standards are not met,” she added. “Executive officers are entrusted with significant responsibilities to their sailors and their ships, and are expected to maintain the Navy’s high standards for leadership. They must demonstrate character and competence in their conduct at all times."
Citing the ongoing investigation, Fields declined to elaborate on what triggered Cebik’s relief.
After removing Cebik, Capt. Lincoln Reifsteck, the commander of Submarine Development Squadron 5 at Washington’s Naval Base Kitsap - Bangor, administratively assigned him to his command, Fields added.
Reifsteck oversees the maintenance and operation of assigned submarines, submersibles and Ocean Engineering systems while developing the next generation of underwater weapons.
Fields said that Lt. Cmdr. Robert Osborne will assume duties as the XO of the Jimmy Carter, the third, last and most advanced of the stealthy Seawolf class of submarines.
Attempts by Navy Times to reach Cebik, 35, by telephone, email and social media accounts were unsuccessful.
According to his official Facebook page, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney presided over a Sept. 7, 2016 ceremony that promoted Cebik to lieutenant commander, shortly before the officer left for a stint at the Pentagon’s Undersea Warfare division.
Calling Cebik “an incredible asset,” Courtney praised the Connecticut native who graduated from the University of Connecticut for his work as a Navy Legislative Fellow in the lawmaker’s Washington, D.C., office.
At the time, Courtney, a Democrat, was the ranking member of the powerful House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower subcommittee.
Cebik’s military records reveal that he reported to the Jimmy Carter on April 30, 2018, shortly after studying at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center in Newport, Rhode Island, and the Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific at Pearl Harbor.
He previously served on board the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine Nevada and the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine Pasadena.
His decorations include the SSBN Deterrent Patrol Insignia, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
By: Geoff Ziezulewicz, 8/20/2019
Officials with the Japan-based Task Force 70 declined to specify why he was fired, but attributed it to “a loss of confidence in his personal judgement and ability to command.”
Gorman took the helm of the warship on May 30 in Guam. He could not be reached for comment.
Gorman, 46, has been reassigned to Task Force 70, which is embarked on the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, according to spokesman Lt. Cmdr. William Knight.
The Antietam has been underway as part of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and made a port call in the Philippine capital of Manila earlier this month, according to a Navy release.
Knight declined to say whether Gorman faces other disciplinary actions.
“The removal of Capt. Gorman from his position as commanding officer is administrative in nature,” Knight said. “It would be inappropriate to discuss possible further actions at this time.”
Capt. Jim Storm, the deputy commander of the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center, has assumed command of the Antietam, Knight said.
Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Gorman was commissioned in 1996. He previously served as executive officer and commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer Ross during its homeport shift to Rota, Spain.
He’s the second Antietam CO to be fired since 2017.
Capt. Joseph Carrigan was removed in early 2017 after the ship ran aground in Tokyo Bay, the first of four major ship collisions in the west Pacific 7th Fleet that year.
By: The Associated Press, 8/20/2019
MOSCOW — Russia has resumed sharing data from its radiation monitoring stations in Siberia after some were taken offline following a deadly explosion at a missile range, a nuclear weapons watchdog said Tuesday.
The mysterious accident at a naval weapons testing range on the White Sea in northwestern Russia earlier this month has been accompanied by changing or contradictory information from Russian authorities.
That has led to speculation about what really happened in the town of and what type of weapon was involved.
It has even raised comparisons to the Soviet Union's 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the world's worst nuclear disaster, when Soviet officials tried to cover up the news for days.
The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization said earlier this week that several Russian radiation monitoring stations went silent shortly after the reported explosion.
Lassina Zebro, the organization’s executive secretary, said Tuesday on Twitter that the two Russian stations that were reported to be offline are back in operation and they are now backfilling the data. He also lauded Moscow for “excellent cooperation.”
Russian officials earlier Tuesday brushed off suggestions that they were concealing details of the explosion from foreign nations.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency Tuesday that it is Russia’s choice, not an obligation, to share data under the treaty.
He did not directly address the reports that information on radiation levels was not shared.