Ballistic Missile Submarine USS Alabama CO Removed from Command

September 25, 2023 2:52 PM
A support vessel transfers crew and equipment to the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Alabama (SSBN-731) during an at-sea exchange of crew, held recently off the coast of Washington IN 2022. US Navy Photo

The commander of Submarine Group 9 relieved the commanding officer of the nuclear ballistic missile submarine USS Alabama (SSBN-731), the Navy announced Monday.

Rear Adm. Nicholas Tilbrook relieved Cmdr. Michael Lyle, the Blue Crew commanding officer of Alabama, due to a lack of confidence in his ability to lead the submarine, according to the Nav press release.

A Navy official told USNI News that the relief was due to performance concerns, not misconduct. No other details were available.

Cmdr. Michael Lyle US Navy Photo

Deputy Commodore of Commander, Submarine Squadron 17, Cmdr. Larry Arbuckle temporarily assumed command until a new commanding officer was appointed. The Navy press release did not say where Lyle would be assigned.

“Navy commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct. They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of those standards,” reads the release.

Lyle served as the 18th commanding officer for the submarine’s Blue Crew. He previously served on nuclear the attack boat USS Houston (SSN-713) as a division officer, on USS Buffalo (SSN-715) as the weapons officer and on the boomer USS Louisiana (SSBN-743) as the executive officer. He also served as the operations officer (N3) for Task Force 69.

He assumed command of Alabama on Aug. 19, 2022, according to the Navy.

The submarine is based in Washington state.

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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