No. 2 nuclear commander in the Navy relieved in probe over fake gambling chips

The head of U.S. Strategic Command relieved Navy Vice Adm. Tim Giardina from his duties at the command overseeing America's nuclear forces earlier this month as part of a probe into his suspected role in a counterfeit casino gambling chip scandal, the Associate Press reported Saturday.

News of the suspension at STRATCOM emerged Saturday when Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent David Dales disclosed the suspension of the admiral to the AP Saturday. Other news agencies subsequently confirmed the suspension.

Giardina, a career submarine commander, remains at STRATCOM but may be reassigned, NBC reported Saturday. Until reassignment, Giardina is not allowed to perform any duties related to nuclear weapons or security issues.

Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, recommended that Giardiana be reassigned, the AP reported. Giardina has been the deputy commander of Strategic Command since December 2011.

[Image courtesy of U.S. Strategic Command.]