USS The Sullivans commander removed from job

Published On: May 09 2012 06:35:16 AM EDT   Updated On: May 09 2012 12:39:38 PM EDT

The commanding officer of the Mayport-based USS The Sullivans has been relieved of his duties due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

Cmdr. Derick Armstrong (pictured, right) had been in the post since November.

A spokesman for Naval Surface Force Atlantic in Norfolk says an investigation by the Navy's 6th Fleet in Italy revealed that Armstrong's leadership created a hostile work environment that undermined the effectiveness and morale of the sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer.

The Navy named deputy commander of Destroyer Squadron 60, John Esposito, interim captain of the ship, which is currently deployed to protect Europe from a ballistic missile attack.

Armstrong was reassigned on Tuesday to the staff of Destroyer Squadron 14Ma, which is also based at Mayport. He is the second commanding officer of the ship to be fired from the job since September.