US Navy Fires Ship’s Top Two Officers Over ‘Loss of Confidence’

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
December 31, 2021 Updated: January 2, 2022

The Navy fired the commander and the second in charge of the littoral combat ship USS Montgomery, the service confirmed.

Cmdr. Richard J. Zamberlan, the ship’s commander, and Cmdr. Phillip Lundberg, the ship’s executive officer, were relieved by Navy Surface Division 11 Capt. Marc Crawford, according to the Navy in a statement released Thursday.

Crawford relieved Zamberlan and Lundberg on Dec. 30 “due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command.” He did not elaborate.

Cmdr. Dustin Lonero, of the USS Coronado, was assigned as commanding officer until a permanent solution is found, the Navy said. Zamberlan and Lundberg, meanwhile, will be reassigned to the Naval Surface Force in the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said the Navy statement.

While the Navy did not elaborate on why the pair were fired, an unnamed Naval official told the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was due to a “mishandled sexual harassment complaint.” The Epoch Times has contacted the Navy for comment.

Naval Surface Force spokesperson Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman told the newspaper that the Navy opened an investigation into the incident. She did not comment further.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on the investigation at this time,” Schwegman said. “But yes, there is an investigation into the matter.”

Zamberlan previously commanded the LCS USS Omaha and USS Kansas City before he was transferred to the USS Tulsa. He was also the executive officer of the command ship USS Blue Ridge.

And Lundberg had previously served at Task Force 56 in U.S. 5th Fleet, according to the USNI, as a department chief on the USS Shoup.

Several weeks ago, the Navy confirmed it fired Cmdr. Lucian Kins, the executive officer of USS Winston S. Churchill, for “failing to abide by lawful order,” officials said at the time.

“On December 10, 2021, Commander, Naval Surface Squadron 14, Capt. Ken Anderson, relieved Cmdr. Lucian Kins as executive officer of USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) due to loss of confidence in Kins’ ability to perform his duties,” Lt. Cmdr. Jason Fischer said.

A Navy official told USNI at the time Kins was relieved of his duties for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine and refusing to be tested for the disease.

And in April 2021, Rear Adm. Trent DeMoss, head of Commander Fleet Readiness Centers, was removed from his position amid a preliminary review of a sexual harassment complaint.

“The Navy Inspector General is investigating this matter, and we will not comment on an ongoing investigation,” Navy spokesman Rear Adm. Charlie Brown said in a statement at the time.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.