Air Force Fires 2 Medical Group Commanders, Reassigns Senior Enlisted Leader

U.S. Air Force Col. Anadis Collado
U.S. Air Force Col. Anadis Collado, 628th Medical Group commander, delivers a speech during the 628th MDG change of command ceremony at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, June 24, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Silvera)

Air Force officials at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina fired two commanders and reassigned one senior enlisted leader from a medical group at the base.

Col. Anadis Collado, the 628th Group commander, and Lt. Col. Douglas Grabowski, the 628th Healthcare Operations Squadron commander, were both removed from their positions due to "a loss in trust and confidence in their ability to lead," the base told in an emailed statement Tuesday.

In addition, Chief Master Sgt. Ann Johnson, the 628th Medical Group senior enlisted leader, was reassigned from her position.

Read Next: Army General Pressured Assessment Panel to Help Career of 'Ineffective' Officer

The services often don't disclose specifics of why a commander or military leader is fired, typically citing the federal Privacy Act that protects military records, and rely on the phrase "loss of trust and confidence" instead of detailing the reasons behind a shake-up, including whether there was misconduct.

Collado and Grabowski both took command of their Charleston units in 2022. No other details regarding the leadership changes were provided.

The 628th Medical Group provides health care for 63,000 beneficiaries and 4,000 active-duty service members, and an occupational health program for 2,100 members on Joint Base Charleston, according to the group’s website.

Lt. Col. Syreeta Lawrence has been named the new 628th Medical Group commander, while Maj. Joseph Estep has taken on the new role of 628th Healthcare Operations Squadron commander. Senior Master Sgt. Hector Velazquez Ramos became the new 628th Medical Group senior enlisted leader, base officials said.

The 628th Air Base Wing, parent unit to the other two elements, provides administrative services for the entire base. It was established in 2010 following the merger of Charleston Air Force Base and Naval Weapon Station Charleston due to a recommendation by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

"The 628 [Air Base Wing] is committed to maintaining good order and discipline by holding leaders to Air Force standards and expectations," the base said in a statement.

News of the shake-up within Charleston's medical group comes amid other high-profile leadership woes for the Air Force.

In December, Col. Christopher Meeker, commander of the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, was removed from his position by Lt. Gen. Donna Shipton, commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

"I made this decision in the best interest of the men and women of the 88th Air Base Wing," Shipton said in the statement, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Also in December, the Air Force announced that 15 Air National Guard enlisted troops and officers had been punished in connection to classified information allegedly leaked by Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old airman at a Massachusetts base, citing a "lack of supervision" that enabled the incident.

Col. Sean Riley, commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base, and Col. Enrique Dovalo, commander of the 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, a subordinate unit at the base, both received administrative action, reported.

Riley was relieved of command for cause, and Dovalo's punishment was not disclosed. Other prior commanders from the 102nd Intelligence Support Squadron who were previously suspended in the wake of the Teixeira leak investigation were permanently removed, the Air Force said.

The Air Force is also dealing with the case of Maj. Gen. Phillip Stewart, a two-star general who was relieved from command of the 19th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas last year amid charges of sexual assault and other crimes. He is seeking to retire instead of facing a court-martial scheduled for this June.

His case marks the second time in history that an Air Force general officer has been formally charged with a sexual crime, reported.

Related: Air Force General Charged with Sexual Assault Requests Retirement Instead of Facing Court-Martial

Story Continues