MILWAUKEE — The commander of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Air Refueling Wing has been relieved of his duties due to loss of confidence, the state adjutant general announced Thursday.
A press statement released by Maj. Gen. Paul E. Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said he relieved Col. James V. Lock of his duties as commander of the 128th Air Refueling Wing, which is based at General Mitchell International Airport, due to “lost confidence in his ability to command.”
The release stated that the decision was based on issues concerning command climate, poor judgement and alleged misconduct.
“A decision like this is never easy to make, but it is the right thing to do and is in the best interest of the organization,” Knapp said. “The men and women that make up the 128th Air Refueling Wing are exceptional at what they do, and they deserve the type of leadership that will meet the unique needs and challenges of our state and federal missions.”
A commander-directed investigation will further investigate the matter, the statement read.
Col. Shawn Gaffney, who currently serves as the vice wing commander at the 128th, will act as interim commander of the 128th Air Refueling Wing until a new commander is selected, the Guard stated.
A spokesman for the Guard declined to comment Thursday, citing the open investigation.
Tumultuous time for state Guard
The Wisconsin Air National Guard is in recovery after federal investigators last year revealed they had found multiple problems with how the Guard handles sexual harassment and sexual assault complaints. Most notably, the review found commanders had been opening their own investigations into complaints rather than referring them to Army or Air Force criminal investigators as required by federal law and Department of Defense policy.
The probe led Gov. Tony Evers to demand Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar resign as the Guard’s top commander. Dunbar stepped down hours before the federal investigation’s findings became public.
Evers picked Knapp to replace Dunbar in February. Knapp took command March 5.
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