A new commander has been named for Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Col. Donald Shaffer is to succeed Col. John Michel on Nov. 13.
The Air Force announced in September that Michel was being reassigned to Scott Air Force Base in Texas as its new executive officer for Air Mobility Command.
The top officer at Minot Air Force Base, which has been involved in a series of embarrassing nuclear blunders, was relieved of his command Friday after the Air Force said it lost confidence in his ability.
Col. Joe Westa, commander of the base and the 5th Bomb Wing since October 2007, was unable to “foster a culture of excellence,” and showed a “lack of focus on the strategic mission during his command,” the Air Force said in a statement.
By James MacPherson, The Associated Press
, October 31, 2009
The commander of the Grand Forks Air Force Base says he expects to lose 44 percent of the base’s aircraft and 48 percent of the air crew in the next six months as the base makes a transition from refueling tankers to unmanned aerial vehicles.
Two flying squadrons also will be inactivated before next June.
“We’re in a very rapid drawdown now,” Col. John Michel told school board members from Grand Forks and the Grand Forks Air Force Base in a meeting Monday night.
The North Dakota National Guard says Col. William Seekins is its new land component commander.
Officials say Seekins will be in charge of the North Dakota Army National Guard’s major commands, including the 68th Troop Command and the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Bri-gade.
October 06, 2008
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