uss taylor ffg-50

Navy Commanding Officer Relieved of Duty After ‘Olympic’ Grounding

Mike Schuler
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February 25, 2014

USS Taylor (FGG-50) on 8 Jan 2014. U.S. Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy on Monday announced that the commanding officer of the USS Taylor has been relieved of duty after the ship went aground earlier this month while on Sochi Olympics security patrol in the Black Sea.

Captain Jim Aiken, commander of Task Force 65, has formally relieved Commander Dennis Volpe, commanding officer of the Mayport-based frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50), as of February 25 due to loss of confidence in Volpe’s ability to command, the Navy said in a statement.

The relief occurred following a preliminary inquiry into the February 12 grounding in Samsun, Turkey as the ship was preparing to moor.

Following the grounding, the USS Taylor was able to moor safely with just minor damage and there were no reported injuries, but the story made international headlines as it turned out to be one of the few security-related stories to come out of the Olympic Games in Sochi.

Taylor and her crew departed Mayport, Florida last month on a regularly-scheduled deployment to the Black Sea to conduct supporting maritime security operations and cooperation in the region, which included her role as one of the United States’ stand-by vessels in the case of an emergency at the Olympics.

For now, Volpe has been temporarily reassigned to the staff of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 14 and the Taylor is continuing with her scheduled deployment in the U.S. 6th and 5th Fleet area of operations.

Commander Chris Cigna has been named as interim commanding officer of USS Taylor until a permanent relief can be assigned.

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