Air Force Two-Star Fired Amid Misconduct Investigation

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Phillip A. Stewart.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Phillip A. Stewart, 19th Air Force commander, renders his first salute during the 19th Air Force change of command ceremony August 19, 2022, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tyler McQuiston)

The leader of the 19th Air Force, one of the main organizations responsible for pilot training, has been relieved of his position and is being investigated for "alleged misconduct," Air Education and Training Command announced in a Wednesday evening press release.

Maj. Gen. Phillip A. Stewart, who has served as the 19th Air Force commander since August, was relieved of command Tuesday "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead, related to alleged misconduct which is currently under investigation," the release said.

"The Air Force takes any misconduct allegation seriously and is committed to conducting a thorough investigation," Lt. Gen. Brian S. Robinson, head of Air Education and Training Command, said in the release.

Read Next: Inside One of the Army's Most Chaotic Brigades

A spokesperson for Air Education and Training Command would not categorize the type of misconduct and did not provide additional details regarding Stewart's dismissal. The two-star is still in the Air Force and has been reassigned to a staff position at AETC headquarters.

Stewart could not be reached by at numbers listed for him in public records.

He was commissioned in 1992 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps after graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology, according to his official Air Force biography. He served as an instructor and evaluator pilot in multiple aircraft, and he holds the rating of command pilot with more than 2,600 flying hours . He also has 600 hours of combat time over 168 combat missions.

The 19th Air Force has more than 30,000 personnel and 1,530 aircraft assigned to 17 Wings located across the country. In his role, Stewart was responsible for more than 45% of the Air Force's annual flying hour program, according to his biography.

Prior to his role with the 19th Air Force, he served as the deputy chief of staff for strategic employment at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium.

The 19th Air Force vice commander, Brig. Gen. Christopher R. Amrhein, has been appointed as the interim 19th Air Force commander.

Stewart is the latest in a string of Air Force commanders to be let go this year.

Brig. Gen. Paul R. Birch, commander of the 36th Wing at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, was relieved of his duties "due to shortfalls in his personal conduct prior to taking command" in March.

Earlier that month, two commanders and four subordinates were fired at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, after a failed safety inspection. And in February, the commander of a special operations squadron based at Hurlburt Field in Florida was also removed from his position.

-- Thomas Novelly can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.

Related: Air Force Fires Guam Commander for 'Shortfalls in His Personal Conduct'

Story Continues