The Navy this week fired the first Jewish woman to command a warship due to a “loss of confidence in her ability to command.”
Cmdr. Alexa Jenkins was captain of the USS Carney when she was relieved on Wednesday by Capt. Jennifer Blakeslee, commander of Naval Surface Squadron 14 based in Jacksonville, Florida.
Cmdr. Jenkins will be temporarily assigned to Capt. Blakeslee’s staff. Capt. Aaron Anderson will take over as commander of the Carney until a permanent replacement is identified, Navy officials said Thursday.
The Carney is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer. The ship was reassigned to Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville in July 2020 after spending five years in Rota, Spain, as part of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.
Navy officials did not confirm the reason for Cmdr. Jenkins’ relief. A fire broke out in late December while the ship was pier side at its home port. The ship’s crew extinguished the blaze, but six sailors were hospitalized for smoke inhalation, Navy Times reported.
The Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida said Cmdr. Jenkins became the first Jewish woman named captain of a U.S. Navy warship in 2015 after she took command of the USS Tornado, a Cyclone-class patrol ship.
The group said Cmdr. Jenkins was a 2004 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has been assigned to seven different U.S. Navy warships during her career.
“The missions have varied from partnership building to drone intelligence collection (and) foreign navigation operations to preserve sea lanes,” the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida said in a September 2022 statement announcing a tour of the USS Carney.