Air Combat Command Vice Commander Maj. Gen. James Post was relieved of his position after an Air Force Inspector General investigation found he attempted to restrict airmen from communicating with Congress, ACC announced on April 10. The IG investigation spurred from a January incident at USAF’s Weapons and Tactics Review Board at Nellis AFB, Nev., where Post responded to a question about the future of the A-10 fleet, allegedly telling airmen that expressing opinions or assessments against USAF’s decision to divest the Warthog could be construed as “treason.” Following extensive interviews with attendees at WEPTAC and Post himself, IG investigators concluded that while some members of the audience did not feel they were being “restricted” by his directive, others did, and his words “had a chilling effect on some of the attendees and caused them to feel restrained from communicating with … Congress.” Post’s position as ACC vice commander and his “choice of words … had the effect of attempting to prevent some members from lawfully communicating with Congress,” intentionally or not, and thus substantiated the allegations. ACC boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle issued a letter of reprimand following the IG’s determination. “General Post understands the impact of his actions and has expressed his sincere regret to me, a regret he extends to all airmen,” Carlisle said in a statement. (Inspector general report.) (Read House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry’s statement on the decision.)
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.