Battle Group Acting Commander:
Captain Jose Corpus
As the Acting Carrier Group 5 commander, Captain Jose Corpus is now responsible
for 10 ships and nine air wing squadrons, comprising the largest battle
group in the Navy and the only permanently forward-deployed battle group.
Capt. Dick Corpus was born in Quezon City,
Philippines, in 1954. His family moved to Seattle,
which he now calls home, in 1967. He graduated from
the U.S. Naval Academy in 1977 with a bachelor’s in Marine engineering.
His last duty station was submarine squadron 15 in Guam. He re-activated
the squadron as the first Squadron Submarine Commander, another first
for Filipino. He knew that I am following his career.
When he received his order to head and organize the Submarine Development
2 years ago he emailed me before assuming his new command.
The Guam-based nuclear submarines probably would be called for duty in
the Middle East crisis. You might remember that the first cruise missile
from nuclear powered submarine during the first Iraq War. Corpus earned
the coveted Battle “E” (Battle Efficiency) when he was the
skipper of this submarine class ship.
The USS Kitty Hawk Battle Group commander, Rear Adm. Steven Kunkle, was
relieved of command Thursday, accused of an “inappropriate relationship”
with a female officer.
Citing “a loss of confidence in his ability to
command,” 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Robert Willard took the
action following an Article 15 hearing
Thursday at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, said Cmdr.
Matt Brown, a 7th Fleet spokesman. He added that
Kunkle received a punitive letter of reprimand.
The Kitty Hawk Battle Group received orders Feb. 7 to head to the Central
Command area of responsibility and is traveling there, Brown said.
“The Kitty Hawk’s orders to the Central Command region are
not affected and the battle group remains en route as directed,”
Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Davis, a spokesman for the Pentagon’s
civilian leadership, said that defense officials
regard Kunkle’s situation as an internal Navy issue,
and that the change of command will not adversely
affect the Kitty Hawk’s ability to fight should the
U.S. go to war with Iraq.
“Personnel matters are handled by the services,” Davis said
Thursday. “We are confident that the Navy leadership is managing
this appropriately, and that this battle group will be ready for any future
Lt. Cmdr. Pauline Storum, a Navy spokeswoman for Navy headquarters at
the Pentagon, said Thursday that “7th Fleet is the convening authority,
headquarters declines to comment.”
Capt. Dick Corpus, the battle group’s chief of staff,
will serve as acting battle group commander until
Kunkle’s relief is identified.