The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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War fleet chief fired over scandal

Washington, Feb. 14 (Reuters): The US navy today dismissed the commander of the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier battle group, among the forces being prepared for possible war with Iraq, because he had an “improper relationship” with a woman naval officer.

The US navy Seventh Fleet, based in Yokosuka, Japan, said Rear Admiral Steven Kunkle was moved to another post because of a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

Kunkle was given a letter of reprimand on Wednesday before being dismissed by Vice-Admiral Robert Willard, commander of the US Seventh Fleet, a navy spokesman said.

“Kunkle, who commanded the USS Kitty Hawk Battle Group, was relieved on February 13 by Willard following non-judicial punishment proceedings here during which it was determined that Kunkle had engaged in an improper relationship with a female naval officer,” the Seventh Fleet said in a statement.

Commander Matthew Brown, a spokesman for the Seventh Fleet, declined to elaborate on the relationship.

He said the investigation was ongoing and that he could not discuss the details.

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