Two USAF commanders relieved of command over hazing incident

Col. Benjamin Bishop (USAF)

The commanders of two USAF squadrons have been relieved, following an extensive probe into hazing allegations.

The two commanders were based in different parts of the United States, with one in Alaska and the other in Washington.

According to  a statement from the Alaska-based 354th Fighter Wing public affairs office at Eielson Air Force Base, Col. Benjamin Bishop, the 354th FW commander, relieved Lt. Col. Robb Fiechtner, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, and Lt. Col. Joshua Cates, 5th Air Support Operations Squadron, of their command posts.

Feichtner, based out of Alaska,  and the Washington-based Cates were involved in a hazing process known as “rolling up,” a process that involves tackling an Airman and tying them up with duct tape.

KHQ reported that the practice occurred in both squadrons, and was eventually found out by the Air Force.

“There are traditions that promote the health of the unit and link us to the long blue line of Airmen that have preceded us,” Bishop said. “When Airmen, however, attempt to equate hazing actions as tradition, they do an absolute disservice to our Air Force culture and also undermine our mission effectiveness.”

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