Admiral leading US Navy operations in Mideast found dead
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Admiral leading US Navy operations in Mideast found dead

US says no foul play suspected in death of Vice Admiral Scott Stearney at Bahrain home months after taking over post

Vice Adm. Scott Stearney speaks on the shipboard intercom to welcome the crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham to Manama, Bahrain, on October 24, 2018. (US Navy/ Jonathan Clay)
Vice Adm. Scott Stearney speaks on the shipboard intercom to welcome the crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham to Manama, Bahrain, on October 24, 2018. (US Navy/ Jonathan Clay)

WASHINGTON — The admiral leading US Navy operations in the Middle East was found dead Saturday at his home in Bahrain, the military branch said, adding that no foul play was suspected in the case.

Vice admiral Scott Stearney, who began his post as commander of US Naval Forces Central Command — including the US Fifth Fleet — and Combined Maritime Forces in May, was found dead at his residence in the Gulf country.

“This is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at Fifth Fleet and for the entire Navy. Scott Stearney was a decorated naval warrior,” Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations, said in a statement.

“At this time no foul play is suspected.”

He said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bahraini Interior Ministry were cooperating on the investigation.

The Fifth Fleet’s deputy commander, Rear Admiral Paul Schlise, assumed command in the wake of Stearney’s death.

US Navy 5th Fleet (photo credit: Seaman Chad R. Erdmann/US Navy)

The Chicago native entered the US Navy in 1982 after graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He later obtained a master’s degree from the National Defense University.

He served in several strike fighter squadrons flying the FA-18 Hornet and served in Kabul, Afghanistan, as chief of staff of Joint Task Force 435 and later Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435.

In the US, Stearney served in various roles, including as instructor and readiness officer at Navy Fighter Weapons School, according to his official biography. He also held various senior posts, including as director of operations at US Central Command.

No age was given for Stearney.

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