Admiral Relieved of Duty After 6 Months as Strike Group Commander

Rear Admiral Rick Williams, right, shakes hands with Rear Admiral Frank Ponds at Pearl Harbor on July 10, 2013. (US Navy/Johans Chavarro)
Rear Admiral Rick Williams, right, shakes hands with Rear Admiral Frank Ponds at Pearl Harbor on July 10, 2013. (US Navy/Johans Chavarro)

The commander of the Navy's Carrier Strike Group 15 based in San Diego was relieved of his duties Friday, the Navy said in a release on Saturday.

Rear Adm. Rick Williams was removed from his position due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command, the release said.

The Navy's Third Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Nora Tyson relieved Williams based on the results of an investigation into allegations of misuse of government computer equipment.

Williams took command of Carrier Strike Group 15 in July 2015. He has been administratively reassigned, the release said, to the staff of Commander, US Third Fleet.

Until a permanent relief is identified, Williams will be replaced by Capt. Chris Barnes who will serve as the interim commander.

The primary mission of the San Diego-based Strike Group is to train Pacific Fleet Carrier Strike Groups, Amphibious Ready Groups, and independently deploying surface ships prior to deployment.

According to his Navy biography, Williams was commissioned through an ROTC program in 1984.

He commanded Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific from 2013 through 2015, before taking command of Carrier Strike Group 15.

His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards) Legion of Merit (five awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Army Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal (three awards).

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