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Military & Veterans' Issues

Leadership Shakeup At Lackland: Palmer Out And Axelbank Reassigned

U.S. Air Force

Colonel Glenn Palmer oversaw the 737th Training Group, where all the enlisted men and women in the Air Force train, since July of last year.

According to Air Force leaders, a loss of confidence in Palmer led to the decision to remove him from his duties, as the investigation into more than a dozen training instructors accused of sexual misconduct with trainees continues.

The Air Force said Colonel Eric Axelbank, the leader of the 37th Training Wing that encompasses the 737th, made a deliberate effort to fit the right leadership with the group.

Change is necessary

They say Palmer did not create the environment that resulted in the misconduct, but 737th spokesperson Collen McGee said Axelbank felt that going forward, a new leader is needed to implement changes at basic military training.

“It’s important that we match the right leader with the needs of the unit," she said, "and so although there’s been a number of great changes already, a new leader is needed now. And so Col. Axelbank considered all those factors before making his decision and that’s his decision, that new leadership is going to be needed for the 737th Training Group.”

Axelbank did what he could given a tough situation

Coincidentally, the Air Force announced that at the same time Palmer is being removed, Axelbank is being reassigned to duties at the Pentagon. General Edward Rice, leader of the Air Education and Training Command at JBSA-Randolph, said Axelbank has done an admirable job in a challenging situation.

Col. Mark Camerer, in charge of the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, will assume his new assignment at Lackland Sept. 4.