Cmdr. Eric Rasch, the commanding officer of Coastal Riverine Squadron 3, was relieved today by Capt. Gary Leigh, the commander of Coastal Riverine Group 1 due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to a Navy release.
The firing comes from fallout after an investigation into the incident where 10 sailors were captured from their gunboats by Iranian forces earlier this year.
A Navy official said Rasch failed to provide effective leadership, leading to a lack of oversight, complacency and failure to maintain standards in the unit.
BREAKING: Navy fires commander of 10 American sailors who went off course in Persian Gulf and were captured and held by Iran for 15 hours.— The Associated Press (@AP) May 12, 2016
The Iranian government has leveraged the events for propaganda. One of the released videos shows a sailor appearing to apologize and other sailors on their knees in a position of surrender. The government even threw a celebration parade for symbolic feat.