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The US Navy has announced the dismissal of Captain Kurt D. Balagna, who was in charge of the USS Ohio-guided missile submarine.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Navy announced that Balagna’s termination as commanding officer was prompted by “a loss of confidence in his ability to command.” The military commonly uses this phrase to explain the dismissal of commanders, regardless of the specific reasons behind their firing. The Navy added, “Commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct. They are expected to uphold the highest standards of responsibility, reliability and leadership, and the Navy holds them accountable when they fall short of those standards.”


Capt. Andrew Cain has since assumed the role of commanding officer for the Ohio following Balagna’s release on Monday. The specifics behind the decision remain undisclosed. An anonymous official conveyed to USNI News that Balagna’s removal was due to issues related to conduct rather than performance.

This incident is part of a series of notable firings within the Navy, marking the third such case in 2024 alone. Earlier instances this year included the dismissal of Cmdr. Cameron Dennis and Capt. Geoffry Patterson, both of whom were also removed for a “loss of confidence” in their leadership capabilities.

More on Balagna’s career:
Capt. Balagna’s career in the Navy, beginning in 1992, included significant roles, such as the executive officer of the USS Virginia and the commanding officer of the USS Annapolis, before his final appointment on the USS Ohio. The Ohio, stationed in Bangor, Washington, is one of the Navy’s oldest vessels. Initially designed to carry Trident II D5 nuclear ballistic missiles, the submarine has since been modified to deploy Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.


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