Senior US admiral found dead in Bahrain: official

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WASHINGTON: The admiral leading US Navy operations in the Middle East was found dead on Saturday 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.

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.