Wisconsin National Guard colonel stripped of command duties

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin National Guard’s new commander has stripped a colonel of his duties.

The Guard announced Thursday that Maj. General Paul Knapp relieved Col. James V. Locke of command of the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee.

The Guard said in a statement that Knapp had lost confidence in Locke based on command climate, poor judgment and alleged misconduct. An investigation is underway.

“A decision like this is never easy to make, but it is the right thing to do and is in the best interest of the organization,” Knapp said.

A spokesman for the Guard declined to comment Thursday, citing the open investigation

The Guard is still trying to recover after federal investigators last year revealed they had found multiple problems with how the Guard handles sexual harassment and sexual assault complaints. Most notably the review found commanders had been opening their own internal investigations into complaints rather than referring them to Army or Air Force criminal investigators as required by federal law and Department of Defense policy.

The probe led Gov. Tony Evers to demand Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar resign as the Guard’s top commander. Dunbar stepped down hours before the federal investigation’s findings became public.

Evers picked Knapp to replace Dunbar in February. Knapp took command March 5.


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