Navy Removes Two East Coast Ship Commanders Over Performance Concerns

January 19, 2023 1:02 PM
USS Carney (DDG-64) departs Naval Station Rota, Spain, in 2020. US Navy Photo

The Navy removed the commanding officers of a guided-missile destroyer and an amphibious warship on Wednesday, the sea service announced Thursday.

Both commanders were not accused of misconduct and were removed from command for performance issues, a Navy official told USNI News on Thursday.

Capt. Michael Nordeen was removed as the commanding officer of amphibious warship USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19), by Expeditionary Strike Group 2 commander Rear. Adm. Tom Williams cited a lack of confidence in his ability to lead, according to a Navy release. Nordeen was reassigned to the staff of commander, Naval Force Atlantic. Nordeen assumed command of the Norfolk-based ship on Aug. 3, 2022, according to his Navy biography.

Capt. Gregory Baker, currently the chief of staff for Expeditionary Strike Group 2, took over as commanding officer of Mesa Verde on a temporary basis.

Nordeen’s career started in the Army. He enlisted before being accepted to the U.S. Military Academy, where he graduated with a Navy commission, according to his biography. He flew with Fighter Squadron 31 and Strike Fighter Squadron 32. He previously commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 211.

Prior to his time as commanding officer of Mesa Verde, Nordeen served as the executive officer for USS George Washington (CVN-73) from March 10, 2020 to March 6, 2022.

(left to right) Capt. Michael Nordeen, Cmdr. Alexa Jenkins. US Navy Photos

Cmdr. Alexa Jenkins was also removed as the commanding officer of Carney by Naval Surface Squadron 14 Commodore Capt. Jennifer Blakeslee citing a lack of confidence in Jenkins’ ability to lead the ship, according to a Navy release. Jenkins took command of the guided-missile destroyer on May 31, 2022, according to her Navy bio. The removal was not related to a December fire aboard the destroyer, a Navy official told USNI News.

Jenkins is a 2004 Naval Academy graduate who took over commanding officer after serving as Carney‘s executive officer, according to her biography.

She previously commanded patrol ships USS Tornado (PC-14) and USS Chinook (PC-9).

Capt. Aaron Anderson will take over as commanding officer of the Mayport-based ship on a temporary basis until the Navy appoints someone to the position. Jenkins was reassigned to the staff of the commander of Naval Surface Squadron 14.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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