The Navy removed the second-in-command of a missile testing range April 25 because of “unsatisfactory performance,” the service said in an April 26 news release.
Cmdr. Garron Morris, the executive officer of Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Hawaii, was fired by his skipper, Capt. Bruce Hay, Navy Installations Command said.
Morris, who had been the range’s XO for two years, was removed “solely based on performance” and not for personal misconduct, said Capt. Ed Buclatin, the CNIC spokesman.
Hay had recommended that Morris be detached for cause, Buclatin said — an administrative move that can route a permanent relief sooner and can, in some cases, require officers to prove to a board why they should be allowed to remain in the service. Buclatin did not have details of the specific performance issues that led to Morris’ firing.
Lt. Cmdr. Mark Johnson, the range’s air operations department head, will serve as acting XO until a permanent relief is found.
Barking Sands is the world’s largest instrumented multienvironmental range, CNIC said, with an underwater range and 42,000 square miles of airspace.
Morris, a 1991 Naval Academy graduate, is a P-3 Orion pilot who has received two Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal and two Humanitarian Service Medals in addition to other campaign and personal awards. He did not respond April 25 to an email seeking comment.■
— Staff report