Air Force Abruptly Axes 2 Commanders and 4 Other Leaders at Nuclear Base: 'These Personnel Actions Were Necessary'
Two commanders and four subordinates at North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base were dismissed Monday, with the Air Force being tight-lipped about the reasons for the move.
The dismissals were announced in a news release on the 8th Air Force’s website.
The release said Maj. Gen. Andrew Gebara, the commander of the 8th Air Force, relieved two commanders from their positions because of “a loss of confidence in their ability to complete their assigned duties.”
“Additionally, four additional subordinate leaders were relieved by commanders assigned to Minot Air Force Base,” the release said.
“These personnel actions were necessary to maintain the very high standards we demand of those units entrusted with supporting our Nation’s nuclear mission,” Gebara said in a statement.
“Eighth Force continues to safeguard global combat power and conduct around-the-clock strategic deterrence operations in a safe, secure and effective manner,” the general said.
“Our mission is foundational to our Nation’s defense, and we remain committed to the success of that no-fail mission,” he said.
The release said the commanders dismissed led the 5th Mission Support Group and the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron.
“To protect the privacy of the individuals, further details will not be released,” it said.
The website Task and Purpose, citing an Air Force Global Strike Command representative, identified the dismissed commanders as Col. Gregory Mayer, who led the 5th Mission Support Group, and Maj. Jonathan Welch, who led the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron.
Six leaders have been fired at Minot Air Force Base due to “a loss of confidence in their ability to complete their assigned duties.” https://t.co/CgqIoYs7X3
— Alexander Riedel (@lexRiedel) February 28, 2023
The Air Force Times said Mayer was in his post for eight months, having arrived at the base in June.
Mayer held what the outlet called “leadership roles in the civil engineering community” in recent years and had spent 25 years in the military.
At the North Dakota base, he oversaw 1,900 airmen in six squadrons, according to Air Force Times.
Col. Michael Maginness will serve as interim Mission Support Group Commander, according to KFYR-TV in Bismarck.
According to the base’s website, Minot has 26 B-52 bombers and 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The Air Force Times said the commander of Minot’s 91st Missile Wing Operations Support Squadron was dismissed in 2021. In addition, commanders of the 69th Bomb Squadron and 91st Security Forces Group commanders were dismissed in 2018, according to the outlet.
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