The executive officer of the Mayport, Florida based USS Hue City has been relieved of duty over a fire that caused millions of dollars in damage on April 14th.
Lt. Cmdr. John Liddle was removed from command by Rear Adm. Vic Mercado, head of Carrier Strike Group 8, on Thursday after a nonjudicial punishment hearing. Mercado found Liddle failed to comply with procedures that could have prevented the fire. A relief for Liddle has yet to be named.
The fire occurred as the ship was transiting the Atlantic Ocean on a scheduled deployment and was the result of flammable material being stored in an unauthorized location, an exhaust uptake trunk.
The blaze caused $23 million in damages to the cruiser, according to the Navy Times.
In late May, the Navy awarded a $23.2 million contract to Earl Industries to perform “extensive aluminum welding,” repairs that are scheduled to take nearly six months. All told, the Hue City will be out of commission for nearly eight months.
The fire was extinguished without significant injury.
Commissioned in 1991, USS Hue City is named for the Vietnam War battle of the same name.
She returned from her latest deployment last summer.