U.S. Army/Visual Information Specialist Jason Johnston
Two leaders of a Virginia Beach-based naval special warfare unit currently deployed to Africa have been suspended from their overseas duties while the Navy investigates allegations of sexual misconduct, Lt. Jacqui Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, said.
Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Marcus Hicks, commander of special operations in Africa, suspended the team’s commanding officer and the command master chief, the senior enlisted sailor, on Thursday, Maxwell said. They have not been relieved of command.
Maxwell declined to identify the personnel or detail the allegations.
A spokesperson for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service could not be reached.
“Naval Special Warfare and NCIS have initiated investigations as appropriate,” Maxwell said.
The personnel were assigned to a unit advising and assisting in operations against violent extremist operations in East Africa, primarily al-Shabab and the ISIS in Somalia, Maj. Casey Osborne, a spokesperson for Special Operations Command Africa, said.
“General Hicks directed both individuals to return to their home station for further adjudication regarding the allegations,” Osborne said in a statement.
The suspension, first reported by ABC News, came a week after the Navy announced that it was kicking out 11 members of a Virginia Beach-based special warfare unit after they tested positive for drug use. The members included 10 SEALs and one member of their support personnel.
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Inside a canvas Quonset hut, one of the arced prefabricated structures used by the military and surrounded by concertina wire, Trump received operational briefs from U.S. commanders suggesting a territorial victory against Islamic State was within sight, but the military needed just a bit more time, U.S. officials said.
In a message to the force sent Tuesday, Adm. Karl L. Schultz said both he and the Department of Homeland Security Secretary remain "fully engaged" on the missing pay issue, which have caused "anxiety and uncertainty" for Coasties and their families.