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Sacked sub commander hired 10 prostitutes in the Philippines, report says

Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Bremerton (SSN 698) is guided by a tug boat as it prepares to come alongside Military Sealift Command submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) in 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Williamson/Released)

The commander of a fast-attack submarine was relieved of his duties last summer after admitting he paid for “female accompaniment” during a stop in the Philippines, a Washington state newspaper reported Friday.

Capt. Travis Zettel, who lost his job aboard the USS Bremerton in late August because of “a loss in confidence in his ability to command,” was reassigned to the Submarine Squadron 19 staff at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Navy officials said at the time.

The Kitsap Sun of Bremerton, Wash. — where the Bremerton began its decommissioning last spring — based its report on documents received through a Freedom of Information Act request.

During the submarine’s March visit to Subic Bay, Philippines, Zettel was seen with 10 “provocatively dressed females outside the front door of [his] hotel,” a sailor told the Naval Criminal Investigative Service after calling an Inspector General hotline, according to the newspaper.

The tipster said Zettel told him and another sailor that he’d “ordered ten girls,” the report said. Another sailor told investigators he saw Zettel walking around and talking to other sailors in his command with “three local females holding onto his arm.”

The newspaper said NCIS agents later confronted Zettel with the allegations and that he “admitted culpability in the payment of female accompaniment.”

During the incident, the Bremerton — then based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam — was on the final patrol of its nearly four-decade career. The Navy’s oldest active submarine then left Hawaii on April 20 for Bremerton, Wash., to be decommissioned.


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