The former commander of the 496th Air Base Squadron and U.S. Forces Morón Air Base in Spain, who was relieved of his duties in April, is now assigned to the Pentagon after an investigation.
However, after multiple inquiries, the Air Force is refusing to provide any further details on what led to the firing of Lt. Col. Mario Verrett, citing Privacy Act concerns.
Col. Gerald Donahue, commander of the 86th Operations Group, cited ”a loss of trust and confidence in [Verrett’s] duties as squadron commander” when he relieved him April 28, said Kelly Sanders, a spokeswoman for the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, in a May 2 email.
Sanders also said in the email that ”the matter is under investigation and details are not releasable at this time.”
In July, Sanders confirmed that the investigation had been completed and ”appropriate action was taken by the command,” but ”as a matter of policy and due to the Privacy Act, we are prohibited from releasing more details.”
Air Force Times then filed a Freedom of Information Act request for releasable portions of the investigation into Verrett and a description of what actions were taken against him. That request is still pending.
The Air Force Personnel Center on Monday confirmed that Verrett is now assigned to Headquarters Air Force at the Pentagon, as a staff officer in the operations, plans and requirements directorate.
After another query to the Air Force press desk, spokesman Ed Gulick on Thursday said again that Verrett was relieved of command in April ”and the chain of command took appropriate action,” but that the Privacy Act prevented the release of any further information on the case.
The Air Force declined to say whether Verrett will separate from the service.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter at Defense News. He previously reported for Military.com, covering the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare. Before that, he covered U.S. Air Force leadership, personnel and operations for Air Force Times.