Both Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak granted Ba'ashat's request to be relieved of his command this coming October.
If not for his request, Major General Ba'ashat's term would have ended in April 2008.
Sources in the IDF estimated that Ba'ashat's request came as a result of the harsh criticism slammed at him in wake of the deaths of four naval soldiers during the Second Lebanon War, when a missile hit their vessel, the Navy's Hanit.
Investigations into the incident revealed failures in both intelligence and personnel levels.
The most prominent candidates for the position of naval chief are Brigadier-General Yuval Zur, former head of naval headquarters, and Brigadier-General Eli Marom, also a former head of naval headquarters.
Marom was nominated for the naval command three years ago as well.