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PEARL HARBOR - The commanding officer of Crew 101 for the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) was relieved March 28.
Cmdr. Michael L. Atwell was relieved by Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander, Task Force 73, due to loss of confidence in Atwell’s ability to command.
The loss of confidence followed an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding an engineering casualty that occurred on Jan. 12 in Singapore. While the investigation is still under review by leadership, sufficient findings of facts emerged during the investigation to warrant the relief of the commanding officer. Atwell has been temporarily re-assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (LCSRON) 1 in San Diego, California.
Cmdr. Lex Walker, Deputy Commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, will assume temporary duties as commanding officer until a permanent relief is assigned.
Fort Worth is a littoral combat ship rotationally deployed to the 7th Fleet area of responsibility since November 2014, and is homeported in San Diego.
No decision has been made yet on the options for follow-on repairs to Fort Worth related to the Jan. 12 engineering casualty. As Fort Worth demonstrated through continuous operations in 2015, littoral combat ships provide an important capability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and planning continues for future LCS deployments.