Coast Guard relieves cutter officer

Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009

JUNEAU - Coast Guard officials announced that Senior Chief Petty Officer James Madsen was temporarily relieved Thursday of command of the Cutter Elderberry for "loss of confidence in the ability to command."

The Coast Guard did not elaborate on the reason for the action, though the decision was made by Rear Adm. Gene Brooks and Capt. Melissa Bert, the heads of the Coast Guard in Alaska and Sector Juneau, respectively.

The Elderberry is a 65-foot inland buoy tender homeported in Petersburg with a crew of about 10, said Coast Guard spokesman Chief Petty Officer Dana Warr. It's one of four ships under Sector Juneau command.

Madsen has been with the Coast Guard 19 years and is one step in rank from topping out on the enlisted advancement hierarchy, Warr said. He has been temporarily reassigned to Ketchikan.

The decision on a possible permanent removal lies with the Commandant of the Coast Guard in Washington, D.C. Warr said he did not know when to expect a final decision.

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