Squadron CO relieved of duty at NAS Whidbey Island

A commanding officer of one of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s squadrons was fired Wednesday for inappropriate racial comments and other misdeeds.

Former skipper of Electric Attack Squadron 140 Cmdr. Joe Martinez was relieved by Capt. Terry Morris, commander of Carrier Air Wing 7.

According to a Navy press release, Morris relieved Martinez “due to loss of confidence in his ability to command.”

The investigation found that Martinez willfully ignored Navy instructions, knowingly submitted officer fitness reports containing inaccurate information, made inappropriate racial comments, exercised undue influence on subordinates and made false or misleading statements, the Navy said.

Cmdr. Scott Hardy, who previously commanded VAQ-136, has been named interim commanding officer.

The VAQ-140 “Patriots,” based at NAS Whidbey Island, are assigned to Norfolk-based CVW-7 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Martinez is a Naval Flight Officer who enlisted in the Navy in 1988 and completed officer training followed by his graduation from the University of Oklahoma and commissioning in 1996. He completed flight training and was designated a NFO in 1998 and subsequently became an Electronic Countermeasures Officer in the EA-6B Prowler.

VAQ-140 is in the process of transitioning from the EA-6B to the EA-18G Growler.

Martinez has commanded VAQ-140 since Nov. 2012 and now has been temporarily assigned to Electronic Attack Wing Pacific.


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