The Senate has confirmed Vice Adm. James Malloy to lead U.S. 5th Fleet, replacing Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, who was found dead in his Bahrain home on Dec. 1, a congressional staffer told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
Malloy will also be the new commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Central Command; and Combined Maritime Forces in Bahrain.
He arrived in Bahrain earlier this week on temporary assignment, said Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Day. He had been supporting acting 5th Fleet commander Rear Adm. Paul Schlise while waiting for the Senate to vote on his nomination.
A 1986 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Malloy has extensive experience in the Middle East, including serving as commander of Destroyer Squadron 50; Middle East Force (CTF 55); and Coalition Task Group 152.1, according to his official biography. Since August, he has served as deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans, and strategy.
Stearney’s death remains under investigation. Some media outlets have reported that he may have committed suicide, citing unnamed officials. So far, the Navy has declined to say anything public about the circumstances surrounding his death.
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.
U.S. troops rejoice — the midnight curfew for service members in South Korea has been temporarily suspended, as command evaluates if you can be trusted to not act like wild animals in the streets of Pyeongtaek.
Late last month Activision's Infinity Ward dropped a teaser trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — a soft-reboot of one of it's most beloved games — and just two weeks after the May 30 reveal, the game developer unveiled some new details on what's in store for the first-person shooter's multiplayer: Juggernaut and ghillie suits!