NORFOLK--The commanding officer of naval hospital ship Comfort has been relieved of duty and temporarily reassigned to Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, the Navy said Tuesday.

Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon, commander of Military Sealift Command, cited a 'loss of confidence' in Capt. Kevin J. Knoop's ability to command after an investigation identified 'command climate issues and a lack of leadership involvement,' a news release said.

Capt. Rachel Haltner, executive officer of the Comfort, has temporarily assumed command pending the arrival of a permanent replacement.

Knoop assumed command on May 25, 2012.

The Military Sealift Command operates about 110 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo, and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.

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