- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 4, 2014

GROTON, Conn. (AP) - The commander of an attack submarine based in Connecticut has been relieved of duty because of poor performance, the Navy said Wednesday.

The Navy leadership lost confidence in Cmdr. Joseph Biondi’s ability to command USS San Juan based on periodic assessments and examinations, said Lt. Timothy Hawkins, a spokesman for a submarine group based at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton.

“Biondi’s relief was related to shortfalls in professional performance, leading to leadership’s loss of confidence in his ability to serve in a position of command authority,” the Navy said in a news release. “The Navy holds those in positions of command to very high standards and holds them accountable when those standards are not met.”

The San Juan is a Los-Angeles class attack submarine that returned last month from a seven-month deployment.

Biondi became the submarine’s commander in 2012. He had served previously as a branch chief a U.S. Northern Command and as the executive officer for the San Juan.

The Navy said Cmdr. Sam Geiger, a deputy commander of a submarine squadron, has been chosen to assume command of the submarine until a permanent replacement is named for Biondi.

San Juan is the third ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for the capital of Puerto Rico.

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