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Groping Allegations Prompt Navy To Fire Commanding Officer Of San Diego-Based USS Vandegrift

Cmdr. Luis Alva and crew member aboard the USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), September 2014.
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Cmdr. Luis Alva and crew member aboard the USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), September 2014.

After accusations surfaced that Cmdr. Luis Alva "grabbed the buttocks" of a petty officer's wife, the Navy relieved him of his duties as commanding officer of the San Diego-based USS Vandegrift.

The official Navy news release states Alva was relieved of his duties...

...due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.

Naval officials confirmed to the Military Times that preliminary incident reports describe two sexual assaults that allegedly took place Oct. 6 during a port visit to Panama City, Panama:

“The commanding officer appeared at an unknown social event at a bar with an unknown number of chief petty officers from USS Vandegrift.

"Over the course of the evening the commanding officer became intoxicated, and at some point he is alleged to have assaulted the victim by shoving/pushing in the face.”
NCIS is investigating the alleged incidents.

Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23's deputy commodore, Capt. Tom Williams, will take over as USS Vandegrift commanding officer on a temporary basis.

The Navy has temporarily Alva assigned to the staff of DESRON 23.

The USS Vandegrift departed San Diego in May for a deployment to South and Central America