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AF relieves two commanders in Europe

Mar. 18, 2014 - 04:53PM   |  
Lt. Col. Matthew Olson, right, assumes command of the 422nd Communications Squadron from Col. Charles Hamilton, 422nd Air Base Group commander, in a July 2013 change of command ceremony.
Lt. Col. Matthew Olson, right, assumes command of the 422nd Communications Squadron from Col. Charles Hamilton, 422nd Air Base Group commander, in a July 2013 change of command ceremony. (Staff Sgt. Brian Stives/Air Force)
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Two U.S. Air Force commanders in the 422nd Air Base Group at Royal Air Force Croughton, England, have been relieved of command for loss of confidence in their abilities to lead their units.

Col. Charles Hamilton, commander of the 422nd Air Base Group, and Lt. Col. Matthew Olson, commander of the 422nd Communications Squadron, were relieved of command Thursday by Col. Angela Cadwell, 501st Combat Support Wing commander.

“The action was taken as a result of a command-directed investigation,” Cadwell said in a statement provided to Air Force Times. “I lost confidence in Colonel Hamilton’s ability to lead the group and Lieutenant Colonel Olson’s ability to lead the squadron.”

Hamilton and Olson are not under criminal investigation, and their removals are not connected, according to the statement.

Col. Brian May, 501st Combat Support Wing vice commander, replaces Hamilton as group commander until a permanent replacement for Hamilton arrives this summer.

Maj. John Riester, 423rd Communications Squadron commander, will temporarily replace Olson. No permanent replacement has been named yet.

A wing commander may relieve a subordinate commander of duty for reasons he or she deems appropriate. “My primary focus is the health, welfare and organizational climate of this wing,” Cadwell said.

The 422nd Air Base Group, headquartered at RAF Croughton, provides combat support enabling communications and global strike operations at RAF Croughton, RAF Fairford and RAF Welford, according to the Air Force. It is made up of approximately 600 people.

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