Dyess AFB wing commander removed for creating ‘toxic environment’

Colonel David Owens (USAF)

The commander of the 317th Airlift Wing has been relieved of his command after an investigation revealed he created a hostile and toxic work environment.

Colonel David Owens was relieved “due to the creation of an unhealthy work environment that impacted the commander’s ability to lead effectively,” according to a release from the 18th Air Force.

Owens’ duty station is at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, where the 317th operates two squadrons of C-130Js.

18th Air Force commander Lieutenant General Giovanni Tuck fired Owens after losing trust and confidence in his ability to command, providing a statement in defense of his actions.

“I am committed to ensuring we have the right leaders in place,” Tuck said. “Our focus is on taking care of our airmen and civilians as we rebuild the command climate in the 317th Airlift Wing.”

According to the Air Force Times, 317th Vice Commander Colonel Rhett Boldenow is now serving as interim commander, as Owens has been temporarily assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing until the Air Force can figure out what to do with him.

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