USCG officer faces court-martial

From Staff and Wire reports

The Daily Advance

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A Coast Guard officer temporarily assigned to Base Elizabeth City is facing a court-martial this week in Norfolk, Va., on charges of conduct unbecoming of an officer while he was a key leader aboard a Coast Guard cutter.

Lt. Wayne Barfield, 44, is charged with violating numerous articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Coast Guard Atlantic area spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Jamie Frederick said late last week.

Frederick said the alleged violations include assault and battery, engaging in cruel behavior and being drunk and disorderly.

Barfield was chief engineer aboard the Gallatin, a cutter based in Charleston, S.C.

Vice Adm. Robert Parker, Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander, decided to convene a court-martial based on the recommendation of an Article 32 Investigation. An Article 32 Investigation is similar to a grand jury hearing in the civilian court system, Frederick said.

According to the Associated Press, Barfield allegedly engaged in misconduct in the spring of 2013 while the Gallatin was docked in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. Bocas Del Toro is near the Panamian-Costa Rican border.

The AP said Coast Guard documents accuse Barfield of repeatedly making offensive comments to someone subject to his orders, dancing inappropriately in a public place and being intoxicated and unruly.

The AP also said the documents accuse Barfield of fraternizing with enlisted Coast Guard personnel and engaging in inappropriate contact by pulling a woman’s bikini top.

While awaiting his court-martial, Barfield has been assigned to administrative duties at Marine Safety Unit Savannah, Ga., and the facilities engineering department at Base Elizabeth City.

Facilities engineering at Base Elizabeth City is similar to a city’s public works department.

Barfield’s court-martial is set for Wednesday.

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