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Commander of USS Dextrous Relieved

Two Iraqi navy sailors watch as the mine countermeasures ship USS Dextrous approaches the Iraqi navy pier in Umm Qasr, Iraq in this Sept. 2009 photo. (ELIZABETH ALLEN/U.S. NAVY)
Two Iraqi navy sailors watch as the mine countermeasures ship USS Dextrous approaches the Iraqi navy pier in Umm Qasr, Iraq in this Sept. 2009 photo. (ELIZABETH ALLEN/U.S. NAVY)

MANAMA, Bahrain -- The commander of the mine countermeasures ship USS Dextrous was relieved of command Thursday for alleged misconduct, the Navy said.

Capt. Keith A. Knutsen, commodore of Mine Countermeasures Squadron Three, re-assigned Lt. Cmdr. Linda H. McCauley to Mine Countermeasures Squadron Five after alleged misconduct led to "loss of confidence in her ability to effectively lead and carry out her assigned duties," a Navy release said.

An investigation is examining "command climate and compliance with Navy programs," the release said.

Navyofficials would not give further details while the investigation is underway. Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a Navy spokesman, said the Navy will take appropriate action after the investigation is completed.

Capt. Jeffrey R. Cronin, deputy commodore of Mine Countermeasures Squadron Three, will temporarily take command of the Dextrous, the Navy said.

The Dextrous is homeported in Bahrain, home to 5th Fleet, which covers 2.5 million square miles, including the strategically important and conflict-prone Persian Gulf.

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