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Security Forces chief removed: Malmstrom's Lynch relieved of command

Aug. 25, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Col. David Lynch is seen during his change-of-command ceremony in 2012.
Col. David Lynch is seen during his change-of-command ceremony in 2012. (Beau Wade/Air Force)
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Malmstrom Air Force Base announced Friday that the 341st Security Forces Group commander has been relieved of command.

Col. David Lynch was relieved of his duties Thursday by 341st Missile Wing commander Col. Robert Stanley “due to a loss of confidence in Lynch’s ability to lead his group,” according to a news release.

Col. John Wilcox, Air Force Global Strike Command Security Forces Division director, will serve as an interim commander until a replacement is found. There is no timeline for selecting a new commander, according to the 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs Office.

The missile wing received an unsatisfactory rating this month during a Nuclear Surety Inspection, but the wing continues to remain certified to perform its mission, according to the release. The inspection happens every two years for bases that handle nuclear weapons.

The release states Lynch’s removal is not related to MAFB’s recent Nuclear Surety Inspection failure. But it added: “However, as the 341 MW prepares for a re-inspection, Stanley must have full confidence in the leadership ability of his commanders.”

According to Public Affairs, Lynch’s removal was not related to any misconduct.

Lynch did not meet the expectations of wing commanders, Malmstrom officials said.

Malmstrom spokesman Capt. Chase McFarland said Lynch will “transition to retirement.”

Lynch became commander of the 341st Security Forces Group in June 2012, after 37 years in the armed forces. He served in Grenada in 1983 and in Iraq in 2005 and 2010, according to the Malmstrom website.

During a portion of an exercise in one of the 13 major graded areas unrelated to the command and control of nuclear weapons, a team did not demonstrate the correct procedures. The inspector general failed the team on that exercise, which resulted in the unsatisfactory rating.

According to the news release, the Security Forces Group has more than 1,200 personnel and four squadrons.

It provides security protection for the 341st Missile Wing, 15 launch control centers and 150 intercontinental ballistic missile silos in 13,800 square miles of central Montana.

Tribune Staff Writer Jenn Rowell contributed to this report.

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