Nu­clear sub pair re­moved in af­fairs probe

Navy top brass in­ves­ti­gate al­leged af­fairs

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - News - By Rus­sell Black­stock RBLACKSTOCK@SUNDAYPOST.COM

Asec­ond se­nior of­fi­cer has been re­moved from a nu­clear sub­ma­rine for an al­leged im­proper re­la­tion­ship with a col­league.

Com­man­der Stu­art Arm­strong was re­lieved of his du­ties last week as top brass probed al­le­ga­tions his re­la­tion­ship with a fe­male sub­or­di­nate was “closer than it should have been”.

It emerged yes­ter­day that his sec­ond-in-com­mand was also re­moved at the same time amid al­le­ga­tions of a sep­a­rate im­proper re­la­tion­ship with a dif­fer­ent fe­male sub­or­di­nate.

The ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer on HMS Vig­i­lant – a Van­guard class sub­ma­rine based at Faslane in Ar­gyll and Bute – has not been named.

The Royal Navy last night con­firmed an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der way but stressed the probe would not af­fect oper­a­tions.

“Any al­le­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing are taken very se­ri­ously and will be dealt with ap­pro­pri­ately,” a spokesman said. “We will not dis­cuss de­tails re­lat­ing to the in­di­vid­u­als, that is a mat­ter be­tween the in­di­vid­ual and their em­ployer.”

Two se­nior of­fi­cers are be­lieved to have flown from Scot­land to the US, where the boat was de­ployed, to deal with the fall­out.

It is un­der­stood naval chiefs are fu­ri­ous with the al­leged breach of dis­ci­pline and are deeply em­bar­rassed the sit­u­a­tion has be­come public.

De­fence com­men­ta­tor Tim Ri­p­ley said a sit­u­a­tion where two se­nior of­fi­cers were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated at the same time was “un­prece­dented”.

“These peo­ple have to be seen to be be­yond re­proach and that is why the mat­ter is be­ing taken so se­ri­ously by the Navy top brass,” he said.

“It is very un­usual for two se­nior of­fi­cers to have their in­tegrity ques­tioned like this.”

Re­la­tion­ships within the same com­mand chain are banned on sub­marines and war­ships for fear they will lead to favouritism that un­der­mines dis­ci­pline.

All Royal Navy ves­sels have a “no touch­ing rule” that pro­hibits in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships on board, but the Navy takes a par­tic­u­larly harsh view when it might af­fect the chain of com­mand.

Faslane-based HMS Vig­i­lant: claims of two af­fairs are be­ing probed

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