Lt. Col. Mario Verrett was removed as commander of the 496th Air Base Squadron and U.S. Forces Morón Air Base in Spain on April 28.
Col. Gerald Donahue, commander of the 86th Operations Group, which oversees the 496th, relieved Verrett of his duties "citing a loss of trust and confidence in his duties as squadron commander," said Kelly Sanders, a spokeswoman for the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in a Tuesday email.
Lt. Col. Mario Verrett was removed as commander of the 496th Air Base Squadron and U.S. Forces Moron Air Base in Spain on April 28.Photo Credit: Air Force Sanders would not release any further details on why Verrett was removed because an investigation is ongoing.
The website for the 496th now lists Maj. Matthew Wallaart as the new commander of the squadron.
In an October release on Ramstein's website, Verrett said the unit at Morón has about 600 personnel and operates as a "mini-wing." About a quarter of those are U.S. airmen, and the rest are U.S. Marines and Spanish air force members. Photographs of the flightline at the 496th displayed F-15E Strike Eagles, C-130J Super Hercules, and CV-22 Ospreys, among others.
After a CNN article reported that CENTCOM disputed an Air Force press release that claimed there had been an attempted hijacking during the HKIA evacuations, the press release was scrubbed of any mention of the incident.