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Navy hospital ship Comfort's commander removed

Tuesday - 8/27/2013, 6:28pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- The leader of the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort's medical staff has been removed from the post due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

The Navy says Capt. Kevin Knoop was relieved of his duties on Tuesday due to command climate issues, including a lack of leadership involvement. The Navy did not elaborate on the specific issues surrounding Knoop's removal.

Knoop has been temporarily reassigned to the staff of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

The Comfort medical treatment facility's executive officer, Capt. Rachel Haltner, has temporarily assumed command of the ship's hospital pending the arrival of a permanent replacement.

Comfort is crewed by civil service mariners assigned to the Navy's Military Sealift Command. Navy personnel lead the ship's medical staff. The Comfort's home port is in Norfolk.


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