Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 28, 2014

Grissom commander under investigation

Col. Donald Buckley relieved of duty, but still working as technician

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE — The commander of the 434th Air Refueling Wing at Grissom Air Reserve Base is under investigation and has been forced to step down from the position.

Col. Donald Buckley was relieved of his duty by his superior, Brig. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., commander of 4th Air Force, March Air Reserve Base, Calif.

According to Col. Rob Palmer, director of public affairs for the Air Force Reserve Command, Flournoy “lost confidence in Col. Buckley’s ability to command,” and launched an internal investigation into his performance.

Air Force Reserve officials would not release details regarding the investigation.

Buckley had served in the position since May 2012.

434th Air Refueling Wing vice commander Col. Bryan Reinhart has assumed command of the wing until a permanent commander has been identified.

Although Buckley has been relieved of his duty, Palmer said no actions have been taken to reduce his rank and he continues to work as an Air Reserve Technician at the base.

Flournoy is currently vetting candidates and intends to appoint a new commander soon, Palmer said.

The commander of the 434th ARW oversees around 2,200 Air Force reservists, as well as the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command.

Airmen and aircraft from the 434th ARW routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission and U.S. strategic objectives, according to the base’s website.

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