Navy carrier strike group commander sacked for viewing porn on duty – report

Rear Adm. Richard Williams Jr. © U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman / public.navy.mil
The commander of the Navy's Carrier Strike Group 15, based in San Diego, has been fired due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command amid allegations that he used his government computer to watch pornography.

Rear Admiral Rick Williams was removed from his position on Friday, a Navy release stated. Williams was relieved of his duties by 3rd Fleet boss Vice Adm. Nora Tyson after just six months in the position "based on the initial findings of an ongoing investigation into the alleged misuse of government computer equipment."

Williams was found to have looked at pornographic images on his government computer during a routine inspection, according to The Navy Times source.

While this violated Navy rules, the misuse of the computer did not involve any classified material and the investigation is ongoing, the source added.

"They have enough information to say it wasn't just a mistake," the source said. "It was extensive enough that they knew it was not just an error."

Rear Adm. Frank L. Ponds, left, shakes hands with Rear Adm. Richard L. Wiliams Jr., commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific © U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Johans Chavarro / public.navy.mil

Williams had been the head of Carrier Strike Group 15 since June. Its mission is to train Pacific Fleet Carrier Strike Groups, Amphibious Ready Groups, and independently deploy surface ships prior to deployment.

Prior to this he commanded Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific from 2013 through 2015.

Captain Chris Barnes will serve as a temporary replacement at CSG 15 until a permanent replacement is named.

Williams, who has 16 military awards, is the first senior commander fired since 2013 when Stennis strike group commander Rear Adm. Chuck Gaouette was ousted on deployment in the Middle East. He was accused of misconduct including foul language, flipping off lieutenants, speculation that black admirals were chosen because of their race and sending fellow officers a racially-charged email about a black sailor.