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FIRST ON 3: Diligence CO temporarily relieved of command

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PORTSMOUTH, VA (USCG) --Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, commander of the Coast Guard's Atlantic Area here, has temporarily relieved the commanding officer of a Wilmington, NC, based cutter citing a loss in confidence in the officer's ability to command.

Cmdr. Harry Schmidt, the commanding officer of the 210-foot cutter Diligence, currently on patrol in the Caribbean, has been temporarily assigned to Coast Guard District 7 pending the final results of an administrative investigation. While the investigation has not been finalized, the circumstances that precipitated this action are associated with a grounding last month.

Cmdr. Teri Jordan, the commanding officer of the Pascagoula, MS, based Coast Guard Cutter Decisive, has assumed temporary command to ensure continuity of command, unit readiness, conduct training and operate the ship during the remainder of the patrol and return to homeport in Wilmington.

Coast Guard operations have not been impacted.

The Diligence is a 210-foot Reliance class cutter with a crew complement of approximately 75 officers and enlisted members.

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