The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

April 4, 2014

Former Vance squadron leader removed from Texas position

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A former squadron commander at Vance Air Force Base has been removed from his position at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in Texas.

Air Force Times reported Col. James Gifford Jr., 12th Flying Training Wing’s vice commander, lost his job March 24. Air Force Times reported his removal was over an email exchange in 2007 with the wife of a lower-ranking officer.

In 2007, as a major, Gifford was assistant operations director for a training squadron at Vance, Air Force Times reported Lt. Col. Sean McKenna, Air Force spokesman, as saying. Air Force Times did not report which squadron.

According to a commentary article Gifford wrote for the Vance website in 2010, he served with the 25th Flying Training Squadron at Vance as director of operations, then served as DO of the 8th Flying Training Squadron, before serving as commander of the 8th FTS from June 2009 to June 2010. He left Vance in 2010 to become military assistant to the Secretary of Defense. According to his commentary article, Gifford served four years at Vance.

According to Air Force Times, the emails were brought to light this year, McKenna said. The emails were described by the Air Force as inappropriate, according to Air Force Times.

“An investigator was assigned to look into it. No evidence of relationship was discovered,” Air Force Times quoted McKenna as saying.

The 12th FTW commander, Col. Gerald Goodfellow, “lost confidence” in Gifford’s ability to lead, Air Force Times quoted McKenna as saying.

Gifford has been reassigned to Air Education and Training Command headquarters, Air Force Times said.

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