Loss of confidence in her ability to command.
That was the reason the Navy gave Monday after relieving Capt. Erica Hoffmann of her command of the USS Philippine Sea (CG-58), a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser that spilled nearly 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the York River earlier this month.
Rear Adm. Richard Cheeseman, commander, Carrier Strike Group TWO (CSG-2), made the decision.
Hoffmann had served as the commanding officer of the USS Philippine Sea since April 2019.
Capt. Robert Thompson, assigned to Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, will assume temporary duties as commanding officer until a permanent relief is identified, according to a statement from the Navy.
Hoffmann will be temporarily reassigned to the staff of Commander, U.S. Fourth Fleet.
Navy officials said they are still investigating what caused the spill May 7 while the ship was pierside at the Naval Weapons Station in Yorktown.
Ted Brown, from the Public Affairs Office/ Installations and Environmental Public Affairs Officer for U.S. Fleet Forces Command, previously said “the majority of the spill was contained within the pre-positioned boom and under the pier.”
“The fuel was recovered using a fuel vacuum truck and fuel absorbing materials by Thursday (May 7) afternoon,” Brown said. “The remaining sheen was unrecoverable and dissipated with minimal impact to the shoreline.”
USS Philippine Sea, which is homeported in Mayport, Florida, returned in August 2017 from a 7-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East as part of the George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, according to U.S. Naval Institute News.