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The commander of a B-52 squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, has been fired following a command investigation, Air Force officials announced on Tuesday.
- Lt. Col. Paul Goossen was relieved as commander of the 69th Bomb Squadron “due to a loss of trust and confidence from his failure to maintain a professional workplace environment,” an Air Force news release says.
- Goossen declined to comment on Tuesday through a spokeswoman for the 5th Bomb Wing, Maj. Natassia Cherne.
- Cherne told Task & Purpose she was unable to elaborate on what exactly prompted Goossen to be removed from command.
- “I can’t speak to that but I can tell you it was a commander-directed investigation,” Cherne said on Tuesday. “It was directed by Col. Bradley Cochran, and he is the 5th Bomb Wing commander. The decision to remove Lt. Col. Goossen came from the Air Force Global Strike commander, which is Gen. Timothy Ray.”
- Last Christmas Eve, Goossen led the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, when the unit received a call from President Trump.
- “Getting a chance to hear President Trump discuss some of our top issues was an exhilarating experience,” Goossen said in a Dec. 24 news release. “The 69th EBS wishes the President, his family, his staff, and all Americans back home a very Merry Christmas.”
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.