U.S. commander of Yokosuka naval base is fired

by Alastair Wanklyn

Staff Writer

The U.S. commander of Yokosuka naval base has been fired for poor leadership, the U.S. Navy said Thursday.

It said Capt. David Glenister had not performed to the standards demanded of an installation commanding officer.

Glenister served as commander of Fleet Activities Yokosuka, a portfolio that ranges from refueling warships to overseeing recreation for their crews.

The problems were “serious” but did not relate to warship deployment or security, said Cmdr. Ronald Flanders, spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Japan. “It dealt with things that are unique to facility management,” he said without elaborating.

U.S. newspaper Stars and Stripes, which serves the military, said Glenister was faulted over a mishandled grievance by a civilian worker and other incidents.

The newspaper also cited poor findings from a command climate survey.

“Command in the military is a very sacred thing and requirements are high,” Flanders said.

He added: “There will be no impact to operations due to this.”

Yokosuka is the United States’ largest naval base overseas. It is home to the Seventh Fleet, which includes the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

This is the latest in a string of embarrassments for U.S. top brass in Japan. In February last year, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Japan was censured for “poor judgment and a failure of leadership” after a foreign ports contractor was found to have wined and dined senior officers to secure business.

Rear Adm. Terry Kraft and two other admirals “improperly” accepted unspecified gifts from Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. in 2006 and 2007, a period when Kraft commanded the Ronald Reagan.

And the guided missile destroyer USS Cowpens, based at Yokosuka until 2013, saw three of its commanders fired in quick succession.

In 2010, the warship’s female commanding officer was removed from duty after allegations of cruelty to crew; two years later, a male commanding officer was fired over an alleged affair with another officer’s wife; and in 2014 a third commanding officer was replaced over poor performance at sea.

Glenister’s replacement is Capt. Steven Wieman, a former commanding officer of U.S. Naval Air Station Atsugi, who will serve in the role temporarily.

Glenister, who took the role in 2013, is currently still in Japan. He has been temporarily reassigned to the staff of the commander of Navy Region Japan.