Commander of Air Force Warfare Center Fired Over Alleged Relationship

Maj. Gen. Peter E. Gersten. Air Force photo
Maj. Gen. Peter E. Gersten. Air Force photo

The head of the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center was recently removed from command due to an alleged unprofessional relationship, the service said Wednesday.

Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, relieved Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten, the head of the Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, from command June 2 "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command," ACC said in a news release.

The loss of confidence stemmed from the alleged relationship, according to the release.

"There is an ongoing investigation" into the matter, ACC spokeswoman Leah Garton told Military.com in a phone call.

Gersten remains in the Air Force, but Garton did not have additional details on his future service. There was no immediate information on when the investigation into Gersten's alleged actions will conclude, nor when it started.

"The Air Force holds leaders to high standards and expects them to uphold the core values of the service at all times," Garton said in a statement. "Additional details will not be released at this time."

Brig. Gen. David Snoddy, vice commander of the center, has assumed command until the previously announced incoming commander, Maj. Gen. Charles Corcoran, takes command in July, the release states.

The Warfare Center oversees the Nellis Weapons School, the Air Force's version of "Top Gun."

According to his official biography, Gersten, an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, has been the commander of the center since July 2017. He was previously the director of strategic plans at the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Requirements for the Air Force at the Pentagon.

He attended both the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School and the U.S. Air Force Academy, graduating in 1989. During his career, Gersten has commanded a fighter squadron, a fighter operations group, a remotely piloted aircraft wing and an air expeditionary wing, his official bio states.

A command pilot with more than 2,800 total flying hours, Gersten has flown over 400 combat hours over Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Bosnia. He has also flown the MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and RQ-170 Sentinel drones.

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

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