Commander at Dyess Air Force Base ousted; 'toxic environment' cited
ABILENE, Texas —
The commander of the 317th Airlift Wing at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene has been ousted after an investigation determined he “failed to establish and maintain a healthy command climate and created a toxic environment,” according to a news release.
Col. David Owens was relieved of his duties “due the loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command,” the release said Wednesday.
It resulted in an “unhealthy work environment that impacted the commander’s ability to lead effectively.”
As 317th Airlift Wing commander, Owens was responsible for “organizing, training, and equipping 1,200 personnel to operate, maintain, and sustain C-130J aircraft engaged in worldwide combat aerial delivery operations.”
Owens is “temporarily detailed” to the 7th Bomb Wing while he awaits another assignment.
Lt. Gen. Giovanni Tuck, the 18th Air Force commander who made the decision, said he is committed to having the “right leaders in place."
"Our focus is on taking care of our airmen and civilians as we rebuild the command climate in the 317th Airlift Wing,” Tuck said.
Col. Rhett Boldenow, 317th Airlift Wing vice commander, will act as interim commander. Boldenow is taking the position immediately.
COL. DAVID L. OWENS (BIO)
Colonel David L. Owens is the Commander, 317th Airlift Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. As commander, he is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping 1,200 personnel who operate, maintain, and sustain 28 C-130J aircraft engaged in worldwide combat aerial delivery operations.
Colonel Owens graduated and earned his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996. He earned his pilot wings in 1998 and was assigned as a C-17 pilot, ultimately becoming a special operations (SOLL II) evaluator pilot. Colonel Owens has served in major U.S. operations including ALLIED FORCE, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, INHERENT RESOLVE, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, and DEEP FREEZE. He has commanded a Squadron as well as an Operations Group. Colonel Owens’ staff experience includes working at both Air Mobility Command as well as The White House.
Colonel Owens is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flight hours as an instructor, evaluator, and air mission commander.
1996 Bachelor of Science degree, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
2003 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
2007 Master’s degree in strategic leadership, TUI University, Cypress, California
2008 Master’s degree in military operational art and science, Air Command and Staff College – distance learning, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
2015 Master’s degree in strategic studies, Marine Corps War College, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia
1. May 1996 – May 1997, Intercollegiate Program Manager, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
2. May 1997 – May 1998, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi
3. September 1998 – August 2004, C-17 Special Operations Low Level II (SOLL II) Flight Commander and Evaluator Pilot, Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina
4. August 2004 – July 2007, C-17 FTU Chief of Standardization and Evaluation and Chief of Wing Inspections, Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma
5. July 2007 – August 2008, Student, Joint Mobility Intern (AMC/TRANSCOM), Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
6. August 2008 – November 2009, Aide-de-Camp to the Commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
7. January 2010 – March 2012, Military Aide to the Vice President, The White House, Washington DC
8. May 2012 – April 2014, Commander, 15th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina
(Mar 2013 – May 2013, Commander, 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, Al-Udeid AB, Qatar)
(Nov 2013 – Jan 2014, Commander, 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, Al-Udeid AB, Qatar)
9. April 2014 – July 2014, Special Assistant to the Operations Group Commander, 437th Operations Group, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina
10. July 2014 – June 2015, Student, Marine Corps War College, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia
11. July 2015 – January 2017, Commander, 62d Operations Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
12. January 2017 – June 2017, Student, C-130J Initial Qualification Course, Little Rock AFB, Arkansas
13. July 2017 – Present, Commander, 317th Airlift Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. January 2010 – March 2012, Military Aide to the Vice President, The White House, Washington DC, as a major and lieutenant colonel
Rating: Command pilot
Hours: More than 4,000
Aircraft Flown: C-130J, C-17A, T-1A, and T-37B
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Combat Readiness Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Kosovo Campaign Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Nuclear Deterrence Operations Medal
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal
EFFECTIVE DATE OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1996
First Lieutenant May 29, 1998
Captain May 29, 2000
Major May 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel Dec. 1, 2010
Colonel Aug 1, 2015
(Current as of July 2017)
COL. RHETT BOLDENOW (BIO)
Colonel Rhett Boldenow is the interim Commander, 317th Airlift Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. He assists the commander in ensuring the readiness of 1,100 active-duty military and civilian personnel, along with 28 C-130J aircraft engaged in worldwide combat aerial delivery operations.
Colonel Boldenow graduated from South Dakota State University in 1996 and received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He attended Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training and earned his wings in 1998. He served in various squadron flying positions to include the Director of Operations. He has deployed numerous times in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, Operation JOINT FORGE, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
Colonel Boldenow is a senior navigator with more than 2,200 hours in C-130E and C-130H aircraft including more than 150 combat hours.
1996 Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2002 USAF Weapons School, Nellis AFB, NV
2005 Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
2005 Air Force Intern Program, Pentagon, VA
2007 Air Command and Staff College (correspondence)
2012 Air War College (correspondence)
2014 Master of Science degree in Strategic Studies, US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
1. February 1997 – August 1997, Student, Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training, Pensacola Naval Air Station, FL
2. September 1997 – June 1998, Student, Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training, Randolph AFB, TX
3. July 1998 - December 1998, Navigator, C-130 Formal Training Unit, Little Rock AFB, AR
4. January 1999 – July 2003, C-130 Evaluator Navigator and Flight Commander, 40th Airlift Squadron, Dyess AFB, TX
5. July 2003 – July 2005, Student, Air Force Intern Program, Pentagon, Washington DC
6. August 2005 – June 2008, Assistant Director of Operations, 29th Weapons Squadron, United States Air Force Weapons School, Little Rock AFB, AR
7. July 2008 – June 2010, Staff officer and Aide de Camp to the Commander, US Africa Command, Mohringen, Germany
8. July 2010 – June 2011, Director of Operations, 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan
9. July 2011 – June 2013, Commander, 421 Combat Training Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ
10. July 2013 – June 2014, Student, US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
11. July 2014 – July 2016, Program Coordinator, Joint Force Development Directorate, Joint Staff, Suffolk, VA
12. August 2016 – July 2017, Director, Air Mobility Division, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
13. August 2017 – present, Vice Commander, 317th Airlift Wing, Dyess AFB, TX
Rating: Senior Navigator
Flight Hours: More than 2200
Aircraft Flown: C-130H, C-130E
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Joint Service Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Second Lieutenant July 1996
First Lieutenant July 1998
Captain July 2000
Major July 2006
Lieutenant Colonel Dec 2010
Colonel Apr 2017
(Current as of August 2017)