Navy Removes Commanders of Ship Near Libya

The Navy announced Tuesday that it was relieving both the commanding officer and the command master chief of the Norfolk-based USS Stout – one of the Navy destroyers stationed in the Mediterranean and poised to respond if needed to developments in Libya.

Cmdr. Nathan Borchers and Master Chief Susan Bruce-Ross were relieved due to what the Navy termed a "loss of confidence" in their ability lead.

A Navy official told Fox News that Borchers failed to properly oversee members of his ship who were apparently involved in misconduct while in ports at various locations in Europe. The use of alcohol and fraternization were issues during these port visits, the official said. The relief of Borchers followed an investigation into multiple allegations of crew misconduct.

The military did not elaborate on what kind of misconduct was identified.

"We hold our leaders to a high standard. Our nation expects no less and our sailors deserve no less," said Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander, U.S. 6th Fleet.

Stout is currently commanded by Capt. Dan Shaffer, commander, task force 65, who will serve until the next commanding officer reports to the ship. Master Chief Jay Wood has taken over the duties as Stout's command master chief until a relief arrives on board.

Additionally, one officer, five chiefs and one petty officer were removed from the ship following non-judicial punishment proceedings for misconduct during incidents that occurred while on liberty ashore. Offenses included fraternization, orders violations and disregard for naval standards of conduct and behavior which contributed to poor crew morale and a hostile command climate.

Another chief was removed from the ship for further legal proceedings.

Fox News' Justin Fishel and Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.