Grissom Air Reserve commander removed from post

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PERU, Ind. (AP) - The commander at northern Indiana’s Grissom Air Reserve Base has been removed from that position and his job performance under investigation, according to military officials.

An Air Force Reserve Command spokesman said Col. Donald Buckley’s superiors lost confidence in his ability to command the 434th Air Refueling Wing at the base and are reviewing his performance to see if disciplinary action is necessary.

Brig. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr. requested the investigation, said Col. Rob Palmer, director of public affairs for the Air Force Reserve Command.

There is no timeline for the length of the investigation, but Palmer said he anticipates it will be short.

Whether results of the inquiry will be publicly disclosed is unclear and “would really depend on the outcome of the investigation,” Palmer said.

“We most likely would not be disclosing any action taken against him even if there were any actions,” he said, citing privacy concerns.

Palmer told the Kokomo Tribune that Buckley is now working as a technician at the base.

Grissom’s vice commander Col. Bryan Reinhart is temporarily in charge. Flournoy is vetting candidates to permanently replace Buckley and hopes to finish soon, Palmer said.

Buckley has spent less than two years as the Grissom commander overseeing about 2,200 Air Force reservists and its 16 KC-135R Stratotanker refueling planes. He previously commanded the 919th Operations Group in Duke Field, Fla., where he was responsible for four squadrons and more than 450 authorized personnel.

Palmer said he is not aware of any previous disciplinary actions against Buckley but declined to disclose details of his record.

The changes in command, Palmer said, will not affect plans to close and repair the runway at the base for about 45 days beginning in June.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from Buckley with Grissom’s public affairs office.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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