Rear Adm. Erik Ross, Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), speaks to Sailors and inspectors during a brief aboard USS Cole in December 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jen Blake)
Navy Rear Adm. Erik Ross was fired as commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2 on Friday as 2nd Fleet plans to launch an investigation into "an alleged off-duty incident calling into question his judgment," a fleet spokeswoman said.
"Beyond that it would be inappropriate to discuss any details until completion of the investigation," said Lt. Cmdr. Ashley Hockycko. "Due to the ongoing nature of investigations, it would be inappropriate to speculate on any charges at this time."
The amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima sails past the Statue of Liberty into New York Harbor, November 10, 2016. (U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Carla Giglio)
In the six months since its activation, the Navy's 2nd Fleet has bulked up and is embracing its mission in the North Atlantic and the Arctic, where the U.S. and its partners are focused on countering a sophisticated and wily Russian navy.
The Russian and Chinese navies have become increasingly active in the North Atlantic over the last five years, necessitating a return to a “competitive mindset” among U.S. Navy commanders, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said Monday.
Growing tensions with Russia have led NATO and its members to make a number of changes to their military posture on the ground in Europe, and now the U.S. is reactivating its 2nd Fleet to oversee the northern Atlantic Ocean and U.S. East Coast.