SAN DIEGO – The officer in charge of a Navy flight squadron that provides the president and the defense secretary the airborne ability to command and control the nation's nuclear submarines, bombers and missile silos has been relieved of duty, FOX News has confirmed.
Cmdr. Shawn Bently allegedly had an inappropriate personal relationship with a woman, a source told FOX News.
A Navy official told FOX News that about a half dozen other commanding officers are released for similar reasons every year. A temporary replacement for Bentley has already been assigned.
Officially, Bentley was relieved of duty Monday by the Navy for loss of confidence in his ability to command, only three months after assuming the position.
Capt. Brian Costello, commander of the Navy's Strategic Communications Wing One, removed Bentley from command, said Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a spokesman for the Naval Air Forces.
Brown said Bentley, who is based with the squadron at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, was removed after an investigation by the Navy's Inspector General was completed. The Navy did not release any details about the investigation or about any possible allegations against Bentley.
There was no telephone listing for Shawn Bentley in Oklahoma City, and the Navy did not make Bentley available for comment.
The primary duty of the VQ-3 squadron, nicknamed the "Ironman," is to provide communication with ballistic missile submarines, Brown said.
But it is also one of three squadrons that provides airborne communications for the president and the defense secretary to command and control the nation's nuclear submarines, bombers and missile silos, according to the Wing's official Web site.
Brown said Cmdr. Erik Johnson, who previously served as the commanding officer of the VQ-3, has resumed command of the squadron.
Bentley has been temporarily assigned to a staff job with the Strategic Communications wing, Brown said.
Bentley's removal, which was first reported by The Navy Times, is the latest in a series of high-profile firings by the Navy.
Last month, the Navy relieved the commander of the USS Pearl Harbor of duty after the ship ran aground in the Persian Gulf. That was followed days later by the announcement the Navy fired its commanding officer and executive officer of the USS George Washington after a fire onboard the nuclear-powered aircraft caused $70 million in damage.
FOX News' Justin Fishel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.