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Frigate CO fired for ‘poor performance'

Feb. 15, 2013 - 04:20PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 15, 2013 - 04:20PM  |  
Cmdr. Corey Wofford, CO of the frigate Kauffman, was sacked Friday.
Cmdr. Corey Wofford, CO of the frigate Kauffman, was sacked Friday. (Navy)
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Firings: 2011-13

List: CO, XO and senior enlisted firings

The Navy fired the skipper of a Norfolk, Va.-based frigate on Friday for lackluster leadership, Naval Surface Force Atlantic said in a news release that disclosed this year's first removal of a ship commanding officer.

Cmdr. Corey Wofford, CO of the frigate Kauffman, was sacked by Capt. John Fuller, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 22, SURFLANT said.

"Fuller lost confidence in Wofford due to his poor performance including his failure to establish a culture of procedural compliance within the command and his inability to correct identified deficiencies as directed," SURFLANT said in the statement. "Ultimately, this led Fuller to lose confidence in Wofford's leadership and competence as commanding officer."

His removal marks the fleet's fifth CO firing in 2013.

Wofford enlisted in the Marine Reserve, then later joined the Navy upon graduating from Michigan State University and qualifying as a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer.

As a junior officer, Wofford served aboard Kauffman, where he earned his SWO pin, according to his official bio. He returned and took command of the ship in April, 2012.

Wofford, who did not immediately respond to emailed requests or a phone message seeking comment, has been reassigned to SURFLANT.

The frigate had struggled for a number of months through work-ups and exercises, including the Truman Carrier Strike Group's composite training exercise, issues that called into question Wofford's competence as the ship prepared for its independent deployment this spring, said SURFLANT spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Bill Urban.

"The ship as a whole performed well enough to certify for deployment, but only after a five-day extension of COMPTUEX for Kauffman and extensive senior leadership mentoring," Urban said. "The commodore of DESRON 22 is confident that the ship has proven itself capable of succeeding on deployment, but due to a number of instances that reflected poorly on the commanding officer's preparedness and competence, the commodore felt a leadership change was required."

Wofford's permanent relief is Cmdr. Jennifer Couture, the former executive officer of the destroyer Porter, which collided with an oil tanker on its 5th Fleet deployment last August.

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