Navy Commander at Lackland Training Center Fired After Investigation

Cmdr. Robert Arias
Cmdr. Robert Arias, the former commanding officer of Naval Technical Training Center Lackland. (U.S. Navy)

A Navy commander in charge of a technical training center in Texas was removed from his position Friday.

Cmdr. Robert Arias, the former commanding officer of Naval Technical Training Center Lackland, was relieved of command by Capt. John Ferguson, the head of the Center for Security Forces. Ferguson lost confidence in Arias' ability to lead, the Navy announced.

The decision was made following an investigation completed by the Center for Security Forces, said Cmdr. James Stockman, a Naval Education and Training Command spokesman. Stockman declined to provide details about the investigation since the matter is still "pending final decision."

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"Command leaders are held to a high standard," he added. "Their positions require the utmost in responsibility, reliability and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable in cases where they fall short of those standards."

Arias, who declined a request for comment, will be temporarily assigned to Naval Education and Training Command in Pensacola, Florida, Stockman said. Cmdr. Brian Carroll, director of Center for Security Forces Learning Site Gulfport in Mississippi, has assumed Arias' former duties at the training center in Lackland.

A prior-enlisted sailor, Arias joined the Navy in 1988 and earned his commission in 2000. The security officer reported to the Naval Technical Training Center in October 2017.

Arias deployed to Iraq's Anbar province, leading intercoastal waterway military- and police-transition teams there. He also completed several tours at sea, including aboard the guided-missile cruisers Lake Champlain and Cowpens; destroyer John Paul Jones; and dock-landing ships Pearl Harbor and Rushmore.

He has two Meritorious Service Medals, 10 Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, six Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and three Good Conduct Medals, according to his official biography.

Arias is at least the third Navy commander removed from his job in recent weeks.

Cmdr. John Gaines was relieved of command of the guided-missile destroyer Arleigh Burke on Sept. 3 after an investigation into self-reported personal misconduct. Cmdr. Erin Borozny was relieved of command of Navy Operational Support Center Portland, Washington, in late August over a loss of confidence in her ability to lead.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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