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Col. Patrick Hynes, commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division was relieved following a criminal investigation into “a single incident,” a XVIII Airborne Corps spokesperson at Fort Bragg, N.C., said Thursday.
Division commander Maj. Gen. John Nicholson relieved Hynes because of a “loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to a Wednesday news release from XVIII Airborne Corps.
XVIII Airborne Corps spokesperson Maj. Crystal Boring said Thursday the allegations did not stem from sexual harassment or assault, but would not say what the allegations were or whether they were founded.
A spokesman for Criminal Investigation Command, Chris Grey, said CID’s investigation had been recently been forwarded to the XVIII Airborne Corps for further action. CID’s case file would be subject to public release only once the case was adjudicated, Grey said.
Boring could not immediately confirm there was further action pending, such as criminal charges or nonjudicial punishment, or at what level of command such a decision might take place.
“The 82nd is not deciding on further action,” Boring said. “The only decision we were authorized to make was the relief of command.”
The XVIII Airborne Corps has been releasing information incrementally in the case. In early April it announced the suspension of a brigade commander under the 82nd Airborne Division but did not release the officer’s name.
Lt. Col. Albert Paquin, the commander of 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, will temporarily take command of 2nd Brigade, which is also known as the Falcon Brigade.
Prior to the investigation, the Army had already selected Col. Joseph Ryan to succeed Hynes as brigade commander. Ryan is scheduled to take command in July, officials said.
“This action reflects the 82nd Airborne Division’s commitment to maintaining a high state of readiness while providing the paratroopers and families of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team the leadership and care they deserve,” officials said in the release.??
Some former subordinates reacted to news of Hynes ouster by defending him on Facebook.
“I would follow him to hell and back no question about it,” Robert Parson, who described himself as Hynes’ former driver, said in one post.
“Excellent commander from my view,” said Brandon Akins, who said he deployed to Haiti under Hynes, in another post.
Hynes, a 45-year-old native of New Providence, N.J., is a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., according to his official bio. He served two tours in Iraq, and two tours in Afghanistan, where he was director of operations for International Security Assistance Force Joint Command.