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Former Blue Angels commander relieved of duty

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A Navy officer was relieved of duty Friday because of unspecified alleged misconduct while he was commanding officer of the Blue Angels precision flying team, the service said.

Capt. Gregory McWherter was removed from his post as executive officer of Naval Base Coronado, where he had served since November, officials said in a statement.

An investigation continued into recent allegations of an "inappropriate command climate" at the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., the statement said.

The allegations refer specifically to the period when McWherter served as Blue Angels commanding officer, from November 2008 to November 2010 and again from May 2011 to November 2012.

The probe, led by an admiral who the Navy declined to identify, began in March and results from a complaint filed by one person, said Cmdr. Mike Kafka, a spokesman for the Naval Air Force Atlantic Command based in Norfolk, Va.

Kafka said in an interview with the Pensacola News Journal (http://on.pnj.com/1jejQxW ) that there are no changes to the Blue Angels 2014 air show and practice schedule "at this time."

McWherter has been temporarily reassigned to Naval Air Forces in San Diego. A call seeking comment from McWherter was not immediately returned.

An Atlanta native and graduate of The Citadel, McWherter is an F/A-18 pilot with multiple tours in combat squadrons, including three deployments aboard the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, according to U-T San Diego (http://bit.ly/PcwC8a). He is a graduate of the Navy's Fighter Weapons School, known as Top Gun, and won the 2003 Commander Naval Air Forces Leadership Award. He was also VFA-131's Pilot of the Year in 1996.

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Tom April 18 2014 at 8:36 PM

I still cannot figure out what he has done. I think he is being railroaded.

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gaustin712 April 18 2014 at 10:56 PM

It's a lot not being said in this article. Considering most who read the article and leave comments have not served in the navy and have no idea about the "black shoe" and "brown shoe" navy, the article misinforms more than it informs. The article says Captain McWherter was relieved as Executive Officer from Naval Base Coronado. Actually it's the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado (100% black shoe) I was stationed there twice. It's on the Silver Strand accross the bay from the 32nd Street Naval Station, and about 3 miles south of the Naval Air Station, North Island. (100% brown shoe) The article fails to point out that Captain McWherter has been promoted from Commander (O-5) to Captain. (O-6) The Blue Angeles Commanding Officer is always a Commander or if a Marine then Lt. Col. Either way it's O-5. Come to think about it, all Squardon Commanding Officers are Cdr/Lt Col. If it's a VF, MVF, VFA, or MVFA The CO is a Cdr or Lt Col. I will withhold judgement until I find out where the Captain is being reassigned. It is strange to get promoted and relieved expecially if not serving as a commanding officer.

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2 replies
sdshantasi gaustin712 April 18 2014 at 11:16 PM

"Considering most who read the article and leave comments....have no idea", then you should be more explanatory. If you were commenting on a site for military folks, then fine. Since it's not, your words are wasted, when perhaps some would really like to understand what you mean.

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1 reply
gaustin712 sdshantasi April 19 2014 at 2:29 AM

I've explained more than necessary. Those who have not been in the navy already know it.

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grimesclrcbg gaustin712 April 18 2014 at 11:58 PM

Thanks a lot for the geography lesson relating the distance between each base. I, we and my husband have been in San Diego since 1969, he retired as Command Master Chief aboard the USS Tarawa in 1989, stationed here in San Diego. I bet he did not know what you know about the distance between each base. I thought our Naval Air Station was Miramar where the Blue Angels fly when the come to San Diego. But what do I know I'm only Senior Command Master Chief over my husband (at home) Peace......

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1 reply
gaustin712 grimesclrcbg April 19 2014 at 3:01 AM

The Tarawa (LHA-1) was a good Alligator ship. She was deccommissioned 5 years ago. I too served on Alligator ships. (USS Henrico (APA-45) and USS Pt. Defiance. (LSD-31) ) You are correct about NAS Miramar. It is north of San Diego near Mira Mesa and Scripts Ranch. NAS Miramar was my last navy command. I was transfered in 1979 to the 2nd Marine Division at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, NC. I was assigned to the 6th Marines and later to the 8th Marines where I retired from the Navy as a SCPO. Miramir is no longer a NAS. When the 3rd Marine Air Wing left MCAS El Toro they moved to Miramar. It is now an MCAS. I'm not 100% sure but I think the NAS moved to El Centro. I know what you mean Mrs Senior COMMC. My wife thought she was Mrs Senior Chief. :)

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gwiz237 April 18 2014 at 11:06 PM

If he is guilty of somhing bring it foward.

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slideitin2deep April 18 2014 at 11:09 PM

well the old saying something rolls down hill comes to mind here .Will reserve comment until more is revealed

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hornyhud April 18 2014 at 11:09 PM

Texting maybe, or worse, forbid sexting

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Nanarina April 18 2014 at 11:18 PM

This is all BS! One person says something about somebody and a big investigation begins... than others jump on the bandwagon and rumors start... adding more drama and lies... A man/woman career is ruin. I feel some of the people being investigated sometimes become the victim of a witch hunt.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
sg2ts April 18 2014 at 11:28 PM

Don't judge until you hear all the facts.... Then: just don't judge !!!!! You can not rely on what limited information the military spoon feeds the public .... Remember...Area 51 didn't exist either...

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1 reply
dcsmith58 sg2ts April 18 2014 at 11:41 PM

Area 51 DOESN'T exist (if you ask the military or "our" government...

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cg5346 April 18 2014 at 11:39 PM

Sounds like someone is out to harm this mans reputation. He may have been a tough commander but to relieve him of his duties because of one complaint so just a little fishy to ,me.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
3 replies
JIM ISHOO April 18 2014 at 11:52 PM

They give the officers name and trash him without saying why!! What a stupid article.

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1 reply
mdrcollection JIM ISHOO April 19 2014 at 12:03 AM

This is known as witch-hunting--or "guilty until proven innocent." It's the old McCarthy trick from the 1950's.

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DOUG April 18 2014 at 11:54 PM

Way to go AOL/HuffPost. You once again managed to throw out a headline to stir the pot but had no story to back it up. How about you fill in some details and facts before you do your usual scab tabliod stories.... What the guy do? Might add some interest. Your crack news team get bored playing Xbox or what??????

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