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Command Of San Diego-Based Ship Removed After ‘Boozy’ Port Visit

Photo credit: Cooperation Afloat Readiness Training

Cmdr. Joseph R. Darlak, commanding officer, USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), communicates with Royal Cambodian Navy Rear Adm. Ros Veasna, deputy commander of Maritime Base via translator about Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Cambodia phase 2012.

The Navy has removed Cmdr. Joseph E. Darlak from his post as skipper of the San Diego-based USS Vandegrift, after what the Associated Press calls a "rowdy, booze-fueled" three-day visit to Vladivostok, Russia in September.

Cmdr. Tamsen Reese, a Naval Surface Force-Pacific spokeswoman in Coronado, told The Navy Times that Darlak was relieved Friday:

“due to a loss of confidence after displaying poor leadership and failure to ensure the conduct of his wardroom officers” during the port visit to Vladivostok.

Navy Capt. John Shultz also removed several top officers of the Vandegrift in the wake of the port visit scandal. Executive officer Lt. Cmdr. Ivan A. Jimenez, the ship's chief engineer, and the operations officer were all relieved during a later port visit to Guam.

All are temporarily assigned to other duties in San Diego while the Navy continues to investigate the Vladivostok visit.

Capt. H. Thomas Workman is now in charge of the ship. The Vandegrift is slated to return home from its seven month deployment at the end of November.

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