Top U.S. naval commander Scott Stearney found dead in Bahrain

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Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, was found dead at his home in Bahrain, the U.S. Navy says.

Admiral John Richardson, the U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations, said Stearney was found dead at his residence in Bahrain on Saturday. The cause of his death was not immediately known, but foul play is not suspected.

“The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bahraini Ministry of Interior are cooperating on the investigation,” Richardson said in a statement. Rear Admiral Paul Schlise, the deputy commander of the Fifth Fleet, has assumed command.

“This is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at Fifth Fleet and for the entire Navy,” Richardson said. “Scott Stearney was a decorated Naval warrior. He was a devoted husband and father, and he was a good friend to all.”

Stearney was originally from Chicago and entered the U.S. Navy in October 1982. He served in numerous strike fighter squadrons flying the FA-18 Hornet and accumulated more than 4,500 flight hours and over 1,000 carrier-arrested landings, according to his biography.

Stearney had numerous roles during his career, including as chief of staff of Joint Task Force 435 in Afghanistan, aide de camp to the chief of naval operations, deputy director at J6 U.S. Joint Forces Command, executive assistant to the deputy commander at U.S. Joint Forces Command, and chief of staff at Strike Force Training Atlantic.

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