Navy destroyer USS Howard’s commanding officer fired

Cmdr. Kenji Igawa was relieved for "loss of confidence."
Nicholas Slayton Avatar
Cmdr. Kenji Igawa. (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)

Cmdr. Kenji Igawa, commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Howard, was relieved of command this weekend, the Navy announced.

Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, temoveddue to loss of confidence in his ability to command.

Igawa is being reassigned to Thomas’ command staff at the 7th Fleet. In the interim Capt. Edward Angelinas, the former  commander the USS Robert Smalls, is taking over running the ship until a permanent replacement is found.

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No reason for Cmdr. Igawa’s firing was given beyond “loss of confidence.” That phrase is often used by the military in lieu of greater details when announcing firings. Information can obtained through public records requests, which can have long waits.

“Navy commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct,” the Navy said in its release on the decision. “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.”

The USS Howard was commissioned in 2001. The destroyer is based in Yokosuka, Japan. Igawa took command of the ship only in December 2022.

Igawa’s removal this weekend is one of several firings aboard Navy ships this year.

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