More video footage produced by a senior officer aboard the USS Enterprise has emerged, and one clip suggests Naval leadership may have known what the Enterprise's second-in-command was up to.
Capt. Owen Honors was relieved of his command of the Enterprise this week, when footage from a series of "raunchy" movies he produced in 2006 and 2007 was made public. Honors was second in command aboard the aircraft carrier at the time.
Though Honors is heard repeatedly claiming in the videos that his superior officers know nothing of his "XO Movie Night," footage from one of the films, obtained by the Navy Times, suggests that may not be the case.
In one video, Honors refers to an unidentified interviewee as being "from the high-level staff," which the Navy Times interprets to mean a staffer from the office of the admiral in charge of the air carrier strike group. At the time the videos were made, that would have been Rear Adm. Raymond Spicer, who did not respond to request for comment from the Times.
In videos shot in 2006 and 2007 and obtained initially by the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Capt. Honors is seen using anti-gay slurs and ringleading numerous skits depicting scenes such as female sailors pretending to shower together; sailors dressed in drag; and simulated masturbation and rectal exams.
The videos were broadcast on a weekly basis via closed-circuit television to the Enterprise's approximately 6,000 crew members, and some were reportedly produced while the carrier was deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Honors was relieved of command of the Enterprise on Tuesday, a move that observers said marks the unofficial end of the captain's military career.
“While Capt. [Owen] Honors’ performance as commanding officer of Enterprise has been without incident, his profound lack of good judgment and professionalism … calls into question his character, and undermines his credibility to continue to serve effectively in command,” Adm. John Harvey said in announcing Honors' dismissal.
The news was met with disappointment by many sailors who have come to Honors' defense since the videos went public.
"Capt. Honors brought up our morale and provided well needed and appreciated comic relief. We were underway for long durations, supporting two theaters of war simultaneously, he brought many smiles to a worn out and tired crew. I can easily say that all of the crew, ship's company and air wing embarked, appreciated the videos," Chief Petty Officer Andrew Hodyl wrote on Facebook.
But, as Honors himself acknowledged in the videos, the "XO Movie Night" was offensive to some on board, who complained about the videos' content.
It is unknown why the videos, now three or four years old, only came to light in the past few days. The Navy has launched an investigation, which Adm. Harvey said would "look at all aspects of the production of the videos, to include the actions of other senior officers who knew of the videos, and what they did or did not do in response."
The following video was posted to the Web by the Navy Times.