Dyess AFB squadron commander removed from post due to loss of confidence


Lt. Col. Pete Leija

(U.S. Air Force photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The commander of an aircraft maintenance squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, has been removed from his position over "loss of confidence" in his ability to lead the unit, the Air Force said Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Pete Leija, head of the 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron was removed by Col. Jeffrey Menasco, 317th Airlift Wing commander, on August 5 and is under investigation, Air Force Global Strike spokeswoman 2nd Lt. Kali Gradishar told Military.com. Dyess is also home to the 7th Bomb Wing.

"In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, details of the allegations are not available at this time," Gradishar said in an email. "Leija's follow-on assignment is still being determined. In the interim, Lt. Col. Jonathan Izworski, the 317th Maintenance Group deputy commander, will lead the unit until a new commander is appointed."

According to a news release, Leija was previously the commander of the 18th Equipment Maintenance Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, prior to his role at the 317th. He has been in the Air Force 18 years, according to Air Force Times, which first reported the relief.

"At this time, the unit is focusing on executing their missions of maintaining aircraft and supporting C-130 operations," Gradishar said.

The maintenance squadron supports the 317th Airlift Wing, activated in 2017 to operate C-130J Hercules aircraft. The 317th falls under the 18th Air Force and Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois."This article originally appeared on Military.com

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