Captain relieved of his command

Capt. Charles Martello, the commander of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10, was abruptly relieved of his command March 13 following proceedings in San Diego that determined that he had falsified an official government document and displayed conduct that was unbecoming an officer.

Another Wing 10 officer, Cmdr. Thomas Doughty, chief staff officer, was also found responsible for dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer, according to information from commander Naval Air Forces in San Diego.

The charges stem from an incident in which Martello falsified a document pertaining to his official flight record, according to Lt. Heidi Lenzini, Naval assistant public affairs officer in San Diego. The investigation found Doughty was also involved in the falsification. Vice Admiral Michael Malone, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, relieved the men following non-judicial punishment proceedings.

The incident happened at Naval Air Station Whidbey, where both men are stationed. The Navy declined to release the date, as it is part of the investigation.

The findings of the investigation will go to the Commander of the Pacific Fleet for review and approval, then on to the Dept. of the Navy, and the Dept. of Defense.

Capt. Thomas Hohl, Chief of Staff, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, will serve as acting commander until Martello’s relief arrives. Cmdr. David McNamara, former Commanding Officer, Patrol Squadron 40, will serve as the acting chief of staff until Doughty’s relief is identified.

Both men have been reassigned duties on the Whidbey base pending further review, and will continue to draw pay.

Martello took over the Wing 10 commander position August 10, 2001. He was set to be relieved of command at an official ceremony March 28 at NAS Whidbey Island.

Wing 10 consists of up to four P-3 and EP-3E aircraft squadrons, including VQ-1, the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy, as well as VP-1, VP-40 and VP-46. Two P-3 squadrons are currently on deployment.

Martello began his career as an enlisted man, and after one tour had decided to get out. He changed his mind when the Navy offered him the chance to earn a college degree and commissioning as an officer through the Navy Enlisted Scientific Education program. He graduated from the University of Missouri and attended flight school in Jacksonville, Florida. He has since earned a master’s degree, served on a ship during Operation Desert Storm, and done two tours at the Pentagon.

Martello and his family moved to Oak Harbor from Washington, D.C. last summer. He could not be reached for comment.

You can reach News-Times reporter Marcie Miller at or call 675-6611

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