U.S. Navy Fires Cruiser Captain After Bunker Fuel Spill in Virginia

Mike Schuler
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May 19, 2020

Capt. Erica L. Hoffmann is handed over command of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) during a change of command ceremony at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, April 26, 2019. U.S. Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy has removed the commanding officer of a guided missile cruiser following a bunker spill while pier side at the Naval Weapons Station in Yorktown, Virginia.

Captain Erica Hoffmann was relieved from her command as commanding officer of the USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) due to a loss of confidence in her ability to command, the Navy said in a statement.

Hoffmann had served as the commanding officer of Philippine Sea since April 2019.

Capt. Robert Thompson, assigned to Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, will assume temporary duties as commanding officer until a permanent relief is identified.

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea spilled close to 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the York River last Thursday, May 7, the Navy confirmed. The majority of diesel was contained within absorbent boom and at the pier.

The navy said it was investigating the spill.

Hoffmann will be temporarily reassigned to the staff of Commander, U.S. Fourth Fleet, the Navy said.

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