NORFOLK -- Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon, commander, Military Sealift Command, relieved Capt. Kevin J. Knoop, commanding officer, Medical Treatment Facility, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), Aug. 27. Shannon cited a loss of confidence in Knoop's ability to command as the reason for his relief after an investigation identified command climate issues and a lack of leadership involvement.
Capt. Rachel Haltner, executive officer of Comfort's Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) temporarily assumed command pending arrival of a permanent replacement.
Knoop, who assumed command of the MTF May 25, 2012, is temporarily reassigned to the staff of Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth. Comfort is crewed by civil service mariners assigned to U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, which operates approximately 110 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.