Adm. John Harvey, the commander of the Navy's Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, announced on Tuesday he is permanently relieving Capt. Owen Honors from command of the USS Enterprise because of Honors' role in making a series of questionable videos.
"The responsibility of the commanding officer for his or her command is absolute. While Captain Honors' performance as commanding officer of USS Enterprise has been without incident, his profound lack of good judgment and professionalism while previously serving as executive officer on Enterprise calls into question his character and completely undermines his credibility to continue to serve effectively in command," Harvey said in a statement.
The carrier is just weeks away from deployment. Capt. Dee Mewbourne, most recently the commander of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, will be permanently assigned as the commanding officer of Enterprise starting Tuesday afternoon, according to the Navy statement.
"We will support and work with Captain Mewbourne and the crew of Enterprise to keep them forward focused on their upcoming combat deployment," Harvey said.
"This is a difficult situation but the men and women of Enterprise are outstanding sailors who have completed a very challenging and comprehensive predeployment work-up period in a thoroughly professional manner. They are well-trained and I have full confidence in their readiness to execute all missions during their deployment," he added.
Honors has been reassigned to administrative duties as the Navy continues its investigation into the videos that Honors shot and filmed during his tenure as the ship's executive officer in 2006 to 2007 that are filled with sexual jokes and slurs against homosexuals and feature raunchy footage of pairs of women and men pretending to wash each other in cramped showers aboard the carrier. Honors took command of the ship in May.
Despite Honors's removal, many crew members who served with him are rallying to his defense.
Yochi J. Dreazen contributed to this report.