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The U.S. Navy has removed the commander of one of its guided-missile submarines due to a "loss in confidence" in his ability to lead, the military has said. Captain Kurt D. Balagna was dismissed on Monday, the U.S. Navy said in a statement. The military offered only a brief explanation for Balagna's departure, pointing to a "loss of confidence in his ability to command."

Balagna was the commander of the USS OHIO, a guided-missile submarine. He headed up the Gold Crew, which served on the USS OHIO along with the Blue Crew.The former USS OHIO commander was relieved by Rear Admiral Nicholas R. Tilbrook, the commander of the U.S. Navy's Submarine Group 9. Balagna has been replaced by Captain Andrew Cain, the military said.

"Navy commanding officers are held to high standards of personal and professional conduct," a U.S. Navy statement read."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."

An anonymous Navy official told USNI News, the outlet for the U.S. Naval Institute, that the removal of Balagna was related to conduct, not performance, but did not provide any further details. Newsweek has reached out to the U.S. Navy for additional comment via email. The U.S. Navy frequently uses the phrase, "loss of confidence" in a captain's ability to command, in press releases announcing changes to leadership.Earlier this year, the U.S. military announced that the captain of the USS GEORGIA guided missile submarine, Captain Geoffry Patterson, had lost his command of the vessel due to "a loss of confidence in his ability to command."

"An investigation is being conducted and as a matter of policy, the Navy does not comment on ongoing investigations," Lieutenant Spencer Marion told Newsweek in mid-January.The U.S. Navy also used the same phrase in early February to announce the dismissal of Commander Cameron Dennis, who headed up the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer the USS HOWARD.

Source: Maasmond Maritime/ By Ellie Cook - Security & Defense Reporter