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Navy relieves skipper of cruiser after post-deployment ship inspection

The Navy has relieved the skipper of a San Diego-based cruiser following a ship inspection at its home port.

Navy spokesman Lt. Rick Chernitzer told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Capt. Gregory W. Gombert, who was the commanding officer of the USS Cowpens, was relieved due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead.

The Navy also relieved the ship's command master chief, Master Chief Petty Officer Gabriel J. Keeton.

Chernitzer says the action taken Tuesday stems from the results of a series of inspections after the ship returned in April from the Western Pacific.

Chernitzer says he could not release more details while the case is under investigation.

Both men have been temporarily re-assigned to other duties.

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