Air Force two-star general fired for alleged misconduct
Maj. Gen. Phillip A. Stewart was relieved as commander of the 19th Air Force on May 9.
The commander of the 19th Air Force, Maj. Gen. Phillip A. Stewart, was relieved on May 9, the Air Force announced Wednesday.
Stewart was fired due to “a loss of confidence in his ability to lead, related to alleged misconduct which is currently under investigation,” according to the Air Force.
Air Education and Training Command, which oversees all formal job training in the Air Force, from basic training to flight schools, provided no details on the alleged misconduct.
“The Air Force takes any misconduct allegation seriously and is committed to conducting a thorough investigation,” said AETC commander Lt. Gen. Brian S. Robinson, in the release.
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Stewart is just the latest Air Force officer to be relieved this year. In March, Brig. Gen. Paul Birch was relieved as commander of the 36th Wing at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for “shortfalls in his personal conduct prior to taking command.”
In February two commanders at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota were fired as well. Col. Gregory C. Mayer, commander of the 5th Mission Support Group, and Maj. Jonathan Welch, commander of the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron, were both relieved “due to a loss of confidence in their ability to complete their assigned duties.”
Brig. Gen. Christopher R. Amrhein, the 19th Air Force Vice Commander, has been appointed as the interim commander, according to the Air Force.
Stewart had commanded the 19th Air Force, one of the service’s primary training units, since August 2022. Spread out across 19 different training locations, the command contains more than 32,000 personnel and operates more than 1,350 aircraft of 29 different models. It’s responsible for training aircrews, remotely piloted aircraft crews, air battle managers, weapons directors, Air Force Academy Airmanship programs, and survival, escape, resistance, and evasion specialists. Flying more than 490,000 hours annually, the command represents around 45% of the Air Force’s annual flight time.
Stewart commissioned in 1992 after graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology, according to his official biography. He previously served as an instructor and evaluator pilot in multiple aircraft, and holds a rating of command pilot with more than 2,600 hours of flying time in the F-15C, A-29, U-2, MC-12, AT-38, T-38, T-37, and RQ-4. Stewart also flew 168 combat missions during his career, and served as the Air Force’s senior air advisor in Afghanistan from 2017-2018.
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