The commander of a Navy helicopter squadron based in Jacksonville, Florida, has been fired, said Cmdr. David Hecht, a spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic.
- Cmdr. Jeffery Franz was relieved of his duties of commander of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70 on Wednesday “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” Hecht told Task & Purpose on Tuesday.
- “An independent command investigation into HSM-70 revealed a negative culture that was inconsistent with meeting the Navy’s high standards of material, personnel and operational readiness,” Hecht said in an email.
- No other officers were involved or disciplined in connection with Franz’ relief, Hecht said. Franz will be temporarily assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic pending administrative action. Cmdr. Kenneth Coleman has assumed command of the squadron.
- “Command leaders are entrusted to uphold the highest standards of personal and professional conduct at all times,” Hecht said. “Meeting these high standards of conduct is as critical as meeting the Navy’s high standards of material, personnel and operational readiness.”