Maintenance Squadron Commander Removed at Dyess Air Force Base

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Lt. Col. Kristen Shadden receives the guidon.
Lt. Col. Kristen Shadden receives the guidon during a 7th AMXS change of command ceremony at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, June 28, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter)

An Air Force commander in charge of the maintenance squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, was removed from her post last month after top leadership at the base determined her performance was inadequate.

Col. Jose E. Sumangil, commander of the 7th Bomb Wing, removed Lt. Col. Kristen Shadden as head of the 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron on March 29 for loss of confidence in her ability to lead. Shadden had assumed command of the squadron on June 28, 2019.

"As the commander of the 7th Bomb Wing, I do not take this decision lightly," Sumangil told Military.com in a statement. "At this time, our focus is on taking care of our airmen and ensuring a safe and disciplined work environment."

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A spokesperson for the wing would not provide additional details on the removal, citing only loss of confidence, a term the military uses to explain a firing without naming a specific reason.

"Lt. Col. Shadden has been temporarily reassigned to a different unit at Dyess while her follow-on assignment is being determined," spokesman Tech Sgt. David C Scott-Gaughan said in an email.

An interim commander has been assigned to the squadron until the new CO can make a permanent change of station move to Dyess, Scott-Gaughan said. He did not disclose the identity of either officer.

The 7th Bomb Wing oversees B-1 Lancer bomber operations from Dyess. The wing is responsible for producing combat-ready aircrews in the Air Force's only B-1B formal training unit.

According to a February service news release, Shadden and her squadron were instrumental in readying the B-1s for a deployment to Norway while also battling effects from winter storm Uri.

The storm crippled dozens of military facilities across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Louisiana with freezing temperatures and subsequent power grid failures.

"We had to get the aircraft deployed," Shadden said in the release. The bombers and roughly 200 airmen arrived at Ørland Air Force Station, Norway, on Feb. 24.

"We, as the 7th Bomb Wing, had committed to the combatant commanders that we were going to have four aircraft that deployed to Norway, and that was the goal," she said. "We had to make sure we had all these aircraft, including spares, available so that we could get these aircraft launched out on time."

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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