B-52 Squadron Commander Fired at Minot Air Force Base

Lt. Col. Paul Goossen, shown at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in December 2017, has been relieved as commander of the 69th Bomb Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Patrick Evenson)
Lt. Col. Paul Goossen, shown at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in December 2017, has been relieved as commander of the 69th Bomb Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Patrick Evenson)

The head of a B-52 Stratofortress bomber squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, has been fired for failing to maintain a professional and positive workplace.

Lt. Col. Paul Goossen was removed from command of the 69th Bomb Squadron "due to a loss of trust and confidence from his failure to maintain a professional workplace environment," the Air Force said in a release Tuesday.

"The Air Force values and encourages a positive work atmosphere where all airmen are treated with dignity and respect, and leadership actions that do not reflect these ideals are not condoned," the service said.

Maj. Natasha Cherne, spokeswoman for the 5th Bomb Wing, told Military.com the removal was the result of a command-directed investigation. Col. Bradley Cochran, commander of the 5th Bomb Wing, initiated the investigation, which concluded Oct. 31, Cherne said.

Goossen took over as the squadron commander in summer 2017, she said.

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According to Goossen's professional LinkedIn page, he was previously the installation's Inspector General. He attended the Air Force Academy between 1999 and 2003, the website says.

Goossen was commander of the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron when the B-52 flew its last missions against the Islamic State before the B-1B Lancer took over the mission in the Middle East, according to the Air Force.

During its eight-month deployment, Air Force units to include the 69th launched "834 consecutive B-52 missions without a maintenance cancellation," while targeting ISIS and Taliban fighters across the U.S. Central Command region, the service said in a release.

The 69th was reactivated in 2009 to provide an active-duty combat-coded B-52 squadron, making it the fourth operational Stratofortress squadron in the Air Force, according to the service.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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