The commander of U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza has been suspended from his duties because of an incident Wednesday following the Army’s Independence Day celebration at Caserma Ederle.
Col. David Buckingham will remain on suspension while an investigation is conducted, according to Col. Rumi Nielson-Green, chief of public affairs for U.S. Army Europe.
"I can confirm Col. Buckingham has been suspended for conduct, pending investigation," Nielson-Green said in a telephone interview Friday morning. She said Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell, the U.S. Army Europe commander, had made the decision to suspend Buckingham.
Nielson-Green declined to provide more information about the circumstances that led to the suspension, but said some information in Italian media reports -- one being that Buckingham had been arrested -- was not correct.
A report from Il Giornale di Vicenza stated that Buckingham had possibly consumed too much alcohol during the event on base and was then involved in a confrontation with military police.
Buckingham took command of the garrison on June 1, 2011 after a stint with U.S. Army Africa in Vicenza. His tour was later extended through May 2014, according to garrison officials.
He has recently served as a prominent face of the American military community in Vicenza during construction and the opening of Caserma Del Din, a former Italian military facility. The U.S. move to use the installation has generated controversy and wide media attention for several years. Pacifists and environmentalists continue to oppose the $310 million facility, which celebrated a grand opening Tuesday.
James Walls, a civilian who serves as the garrison’s deputy commander, is serving as acting commander during the suspension.