Boomer CO fired for ‘loss of confidence’

The skipper of a ballistic-missile submarine was fired Monday shortly after returning home from his first deployment, according to a spokeswoman.

Cmdr. Charles “Tony” Hill, 45, was relieved “due to a loss of confidence” in his ability to command the Gold Crew of the boomer West Virginia. The Ohio-class submarine carries 24 Trident II nuclear missiles and is based at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga.

The boat returned to Kings Bay in November.

“There were no specific incidents, just a number of indications related to command climate,” said Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for Submarine Group 10.

“It had nothing to do with the [nuclear] reactor and at no point was the crew or the public in danger,” Rebarich said.

Hill is not facing criminal charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Remarich said.

Capt. Daniel Mack, commanding officer of Submarine Squadron 16/20, made the decision to remove Hill and assign him temporarily to Submarine Squadron 20 at Kings Bay.

Mack assigned Capt. Stephen Gillespie as temporary commander of the West Virginia’s Gold Crew, which is conducting training at its home port.

Gillespie has served as commander of the ballistic-missile submarine Rhode Island and most recently was the deputy for training at Squadron 16/20.

Hill, originally from Lineville, Ala., was commissioned in 1990 through the Navy ROTC program at Auburn University. He served aboard the fast-attack submarine Cheyenne from 1998 to 2001, and later on the Rhode Island from 2003 to 2005, Navy records show.

Hill was promoted to commander in June 2006 and assigned to the West Virginia in June 2008.

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