Whidbey squadron commander relieved

The Navy has given walking papers to the commander of a Prowler squadron from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station based in the Middle East.

Electronic Attack Squadron 140 Cmdr. Christopher Rankin was relieved of his duties on Monday due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to lead his crew and carry out essential missions aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower,” according to a statement from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. The commander of Carrier Air Wing 7, Capt. Scott Stearney, relieved the commanding officer.

The squadron, nicknamed the Patriots, was deployed from NAS Whidbey in October.

Cmdr. Timothy Murphy, the squadron’s executive officer, is currently serving as acting commanding officer. Rankin has been temporarily assigned to Commander, Carrier Strike Group 8 pending further review.

VAQ 140 is part of CVW 7, and is currently embarked aboard Eisenhower deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, as well as maritime security operations.

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