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Air Force medical group commander fired after less than 4 months on the job

She was relieved of command over "loss of trust and confidence in her ability to lead and maintain readiness," according to the service.
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U.S. Air Force Col. Katheryn Ellis, 14th Medical Group commander, receives her first salute as commander, July 6, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. The 14th Medical Group enhances the flying mission through medical responses to flying emergencies, delivery of aerospace and operational physiology training, and optimization of human performance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie)

Air Force Col. Katheryn Ellis was relieved of command of the 14th Medical Group at Columbus Air Force Mississippi on Thursday, according to the Columbus-based 14th Flying Training Wing public affairs office.

Ellis was relieved due to a “loss of trust and confidence in her ability to lead and maintain readiness of the men and women of the 14th Medical Group,” Rita Felton, a spokesperson for Columbus Air Force Base, told Task & Purpose.

Felton declined to go into specifics as to what led to the relief, and Ellis herself declined to comment for this story. However, Felton said the colonel will be reassigned to a staff position, though she did not say where in the Air Force that position would be.

“At the end of the day we want to make sure we do the right thing” for the Air Force and for airmen, Felton said. No investigation is being conducted into the matter.

As commander of the 14th Medical Group, Ellis was in charge of the medical care of the 14th Flying Training Wing, where Air Force pilots in training pick up aviation basics in T-6 Texan II training aircraft before moving on to specialized tracks for fighter, bomber, tanker or airlift pilots. 475 students are trained at the school every year on average, as of 2016.

Ellis took command of the 14th Medical Group on July 7. Before that, she was the Air Force Surgeon General’s Deputy Chief Nursing Consultant at Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Va, where she oversaw healthcare operations for 5,000 nurses across the Air Force. Ellis first received her commission in the Air Force in December, 1997, according to her command biography.

“14th Medical Group, I am so humbled and honored to be your commander,” Ellis said at the change of command ceremony. “I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you better, and I am elated to have the opportunity to serve alongside of you.”

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