Sunday, May 27, 2018
Military News

Reserve wing at MacDill gets new commander Sunday

TAMPA — The 927th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill Air Force Base is getting a new commander Sunday.

Col. Randal Bright will assume command of the Reserve wing during a change-of-command ceremony scheduled to start at 9 a.m. He takes over from Col. Doug Schwartz, who has already moved on as commander of the 434th Air Refueling Wing at Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana. Schwartz had been at MacDill since January 2013.

Bright was the chief of the plans division of the Directorate of Strategic Plans and Programs, Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.

MacDill's 927th Wing, along with its 6th Air Mobility Wing, flies the KC-135 aerial refueling tanker. MacDill is home to 16 of the so-called Stratotankers.

The change of command will be presided over by Brig. Gen. John Flournoy, commander of the 4th Air Force at March Air Reserve Base in California.

Bright was investigated in 2010 or 2011 after three officers at Dover Air Force Base, where Bright was then a Reserve wing commander, accused him of fostering a climate of intimidation, favoritism, sexism and age discrimination. One of the complaints came from a lieutenant colonel who claimed Bright called him a "loser" during a staff meeting.

A March 2011 story by the Air Force Times indicates Bright was cleared by an "equal opportunity office." The three officers then wrote a letter of complaint to U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., because they believed the equal opportunity office "failed to conduct legitimate investigations."

The Department of Defense then launched an investigation. A spokesman for the 927th Wing at MacDill could not immediately say what the outcome of that investigation was. The Air Force Reserve Command did not respond late Friday about the inquiry's resolution.

Before Bright relinquished command of the 512th Airlift Wing at Dover in 2012, an article written by the wing's public affairs office quoted him as saying it was important for personnel to remember that a commander is appointed, not elected.

"Commanders don't need popular support," Bright said. "They must give (subordinates) the decisions they need to know. I've tried to make the right decision, or as right of a decision as you can make depending on the circumstances."

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