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Originally published Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 3:32 PM

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Seattle Coast Guard captain replaced due to poor 'command climate'

Citing a lack of confidence in her leadership, the U.S. Coast Guard has replaced the captain who was in command of the Coast Guard's Sector Seattle.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Citing a lack of confidence in her leadership, the U.S. Coast Guard has replaced the captain who was in command of the Coast Guard's Sector Seattle.

Rear Adm. Gary T. Blore, commander of the 13th Coast Guard District, said Capt. Suzanne E. Englebert was relieved of her command duties because of the poor "command climate" under her rule.

Englebert, a 23-year veteran of the Coast Guard, will be temporarily assigned to the administrative headquarters of District 13 in the Jackson Federal Building in downtown Seattle, according to Cmdr. Mark McCadden, chief of external affairs for the district.

"The decision to relieve a commanding officer is never easy and is taken very seriously," Blore said in a statement released on Thursday. "Due to an unacceptable command climate, this commander no longer had my confidence to command an effective unit. I firmly believe this decision was made in the best interest of the unit and the Service."

The position will be temporarily filled by Capt. Scott Bornemann, the Coast Guard said.

McCadden said the move is unusual.

Englebert, who assumed command in August 2008, was removed from command after several months of investigation and observation, McCadden said.

He defined a "good" command climate as one in which there is open communication between supervisors and subordinates, mentoring of junior personnel and a sense of mutual respect among colleagues.

Sector Seattle oversees the comprehensive maritime safety, security and marine-environmental response operations throughout the Sector's 3,500-square-mile area of responsibility.

The sector's maritime responsibilities include oversight of the ferry system, the container port, the Alaska fishing fleet, strategic naval port and the transport of more than 15 billion gallons of oil products each year.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com

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