AFRL leader relieved from command amid alleged misconduct investigation

By Sara Sirota / January 16, 2020 at 12:14 PM

The head of Air Force Materiel Command relieved Air Force Research Laboratory Commander Maj. Gen. William Cooley from his position on Wednesday amid an investigation into alleged misconduct.

According to a statement the Air Force released today, Gen. Arnold Bunch made his decision due to "a loss of confidence in [Cooley's] ability to lead."

"The Air Force takes any misconduct allegation seriously," Bunch said in the notice. "I expect our leadership to uphold the highest standards and live up to the Air Force's core values."

The service's statement did not provide any details about Cooley's alleged misconduct.

Derek Kaufman, an Air Force spokesman, said in an email the Air Force Office of Special Investigations is leading the inquiry. He also said Cooley has been reassigned as special assistant to the AFMC commander.

Brig. Gen. Evan Dertien, former director of air, space and cyberspace operations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, has been appointed as the new AFRL commander.

"I have great confidence in Brigadier General Dertien and in the professionalism of the entire AFRL workforce," Bunch said.