US Navy commanding officer relieved of duty over Iran’s capture, detention of 10 sailors

Posted at 9:28 pm on May 12, 2016 by Brett T.

In January, America’s new deal partner Iran captured two U.S. Navy vessels moving between Kuwait and Bahrain and detained 10 sailors. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps claimed that the boats had entered Iranian waters illegally and added insult to injury by releasing photos of the sailors held at gunpoint along with video of them apologizing to Iran.

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Iran capped off the incident by awarding the Fath (“Victory”) medal to the head of the navy of the Revolutionary Guard and four commanders involved in the incident. The officer in charge of the two boats that were captured, however, didn’t fare so well.

CNN reports that Cmdr. Eric Rasch was relieved of his position of commanding officer due to his failure to provide effective leadership and a loss of confidence in his ability. He remains in the Navy but has been reassigned. In his previous position, Rasch was responsible for the training and readiness of more than 400 sailors.

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Further, Navy officials added that the sailors involved could still face disciplinary action. The sailors “did not conduct a standard operational briefing for themselves prior to setting sail, during which they would have fully reviewed their route and navigation plan,” reads the Navy’s report on the incident.

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