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Investigation prompts removal of Yokota commander

Feb. 5, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Col. Kevin Sampels was relieved of command of the 374th Maintenance Group at Yokota Air Base Japan, due to 'a lack of confidence in his ability to lead,' a spokesman for the 374th Airlift Wing said.
Col. Kevin Sampels was relieved of command of the 374th Maintenance Group at Yokota Air Base Japan, due to 'a lack of confidence in his ability to lead,' a spokesman for the 374th Airlift Wing said. (Air Force)
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Col. Kevin Sampels was relieved of command of the 374th Maintenance Group at Yokota Air Base Japan, due to “a lack of confidence in his ability to lead,” a spokesman for the 374th Airlift Wing said.

Sampels, who was relieved in November, was the subject of a command-directed investigation, which did not result in charges being filed, said 2nd Lt. Jacob Bailey.

“Due to privacy act restrictions involving the release of non-judicial punishment records, we cannot discuss specifics surrounding the investigation,” Bailey said in an email to Air Force Times on Wednesday.

Sampels is no longer stationed at Yokota, said Bailey, who declined to say what Sampels’ current assignment is, citing “privacy considerations.” Lt. Col. Sean Robertson is serving as Sampels’ replacement.

After entering the Air Force as an enlisted airman in 1981, Sampels was commissioned through Officer Training School in 1990, according to his official Air Force biography. His prior assignments include serving as the chief of the Resource Integration Division at Pacific Air Forces headquarters, executive officer to the Air Force Materiel Command commander and commander of a logistics readiness squadron that conducted long-haul convoy operations in Iraq.

He has received several military awards including the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.

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