Oceana squadron leader relieved of duty

By Lauren King The Virginian-Pilot ©


The commanding officer of one of the Navy’s largest fighter squadrons has been relieved of his duties a month before he was scheduled to turn over command.

Rear Adm. Michael Shoemaker, who commands Naval Air Force Atlantic, relieved Cmdr. Edward C. White of his duties Monday because of a loss of confidence in White’s ability to command, according to a Navy news release.

Shoemaker’s decision came after the preliminary results of an ongoing investigation into an alleged inappropriate relationship between White and a female Navy civilian employee.

White has commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 106, a training unit that operates more than 90 jets, at Oceana Naval Station since June 2012. He has been temporarily assigned to an administrative job.

Cmdr. Brent Blackmer, who was originally scheduled to take command of the “Gladiators” on Sept. 26, replaced White. His most recent assignment was at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. Blackmer previously commanded the “Ragin Bulls” of Strike Fighter Squadron 37 at Oceana.

Known as a fleet replacement squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron 106 trains Navy and Marine F/A-18 pilots and weapons systems operators. It is composed of about 1,200 Navy and Marine Corps personnel.

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