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West Texas air commander reassigned over 'toxic environment'

ABILENE, Texas (AP) - A commander at Dyess Air Force Base in West Texas has been reassigned after Air Force leaders lost confidence in his ability to command because he "created a toxic environment."

Lt. Gen. Giovanni Tuck said in a statement Wednesday that Col. David Owens was relieved of his command because of an unhealthy work environment that undercut his ability to lead effectively.

Owens was the 317th Airlift Wing commander at Dyess, which is just west of Abilene. The Airlift Wing and the 7th Bomb Wing are the two units operating at the air base.

Owens had been responsible for organizing and training 1,200 personnel involved in worldwide combat aerial delivery operations.

Tuck says he's focusing on rebuilding the command structure.

The vice commander of the wing, Col. Rhett Boldenow, has been named interim leader.

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