Top US navy commander in Middle East found dead in Bahrain

  • Vice Admiral Scott A. Stearney had taken command of the US 5th Fleet in May

WASHINGTON – The commander of United States 5th Fleet was found dead at his residence in Bahrain on Saturday, the military branch said, adding that no foul play was suspected in the case.

Vice Admiral Scott A. Stearney began his post as commander of US Naval Forces Central Command — including the US Fifth Fleet — and Combined Maritime Forces in May.

“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 Adm. Paul Schlise, assumed command in the wake of Stearney’s death.