19th Air Force Commander Resigns

Maj. Gen. Michael Keltz resigned from his position as commander of 19th Air Force following “an inappropriate comment” made in a “public Air Force forum,” according to an April 30 Air Education and Training Command release. AETC Commander Gen. Robin Rand accepted his resignation Thursday and began processing his request to retire after 34 years in uniform, states the release. “Mike Keltz is an extraordinarily dedicated airman and commander with a highly distinguished service career,” said Rand. “He realizes the impact of his actions and has expressed his genuine regret to me, which he extends to all airmen. As a senior leader, Maj. Gen. Keltz understands he must be held accountable for this inappropriate comment.” It’s not clear what the comment was or where it was made. Keltz is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours, including more than 300 combat and contingency sorties on AC-130H, MC-130H, and AC-130U gunships and Combat Talons in Grenada, El Salvador, Panama, Sierra Leone, and in Operations Desert Storm, Provide Comfort, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. He is the second Air Force commander this month to lose his position because of inappropriate comments. Former Air Combat Command Vice Commander Maj. Gen. James Post was relieved of command after an Air Force Inspector General investigation found he attempted to restrict airmen from communicating with Congress. Post allegedly told airmen that expressing their opinion on the Air Force’s decision to divest the A-10 Warthog could be construed as “treason.”