Commander Pfaeffle was fired by Vice Adm. Harry Harris, 6th Fleet commander. The pier strike occurred during a port visit to Batumi, Georgia (part of the former Soviet Union).
USS John L. Hall was conducting joint drills with Ukrainian naval pilots and the Georgian coast guard in the Black Sea.
Commander Pfaeffle is a former enlisted submarine Sailor mustang. He entered the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps through the Navy’s Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) Program and received his commission in 1993.