Air Force Colonel Heading Maintenance Group at New Mexico Base Is Relieved of Command

Colonel Danzel W. Albertsen
Col. Danzel Albertsen, commander of the 49th Maintenance Group at Holloman Air Force Base, was removed from his leadership role on March 25, 2024. (U.S. Air Force photo)

An Air Force colonel who was the commander of a maintenance group at a base in New Mexico has been fired from his leadership role, marking the latest in a string of command shake-ups this month.

Col. Danzel Albertsen, commander of the 49th Maintenance Group at Holloman Air Force Base, was removed from his leadership role Monday, according to a news release from the base.

Air Force Col. Justin Spears, the commander of the 49th Wing, removed Albertsen "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead," adding that "new leadership was necessary to ensure a proper command climate and appropriate leadership for our airmen."

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"This was a difficult decision to make, but one that is ultimately in the best interests of the unit," Spears said.

The services often don't disclose specifics of why a commander or military leader is fired, typically citing the federal Privacy Act that protects military records, and usually rely on the phrase "loss of trust and confidence" instead of detailing the specific reasons behind a relief, including whether there was misconduct.

The 49th Maintenance Group's deputy commander, Lt. Col. Kristen Torma, will take over command for Albertsen effective immediately, the base said in the press release.

The maintenance group based at Holloman is a team of more than 2,100 airmen, civilians and contractors, according to the wing's website. The group is in charge of maintenance on F-16 Fighting Falcons, T-38 Talons, QF-16 Full-Scale Aerial Targets and MQ-9 Reaper drones, which supports training for a wide variety of pilots.

Albertsen became commander of the maintenance group in June 2022, according to his service biography. Prior to that, he was the director of staff for Air University located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and the deputy commander of the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Group at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Albertsen is from Saint Joseph, Missouri, and was commissioned in 2001 through the Air Force Officer Training School, according to the service biography.

Denise Ottaviano, a spokesperson for Holloman Air Force Base, declined to comment on whether Albertsen has been reassigned to another job at the base or if he's facing any legal action.

Additionally, Albertsen did not respond to phone calls and messages left at various numbers listed in public records for him.

News of Albertsen's removal comes after Air Force officials at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina fired two commanders and reassigned one senior enlisted leader from a medical group at the base earlier this month.

Col. Anadis Collado, the 628th Group commander, and Lt. Col. Douglas Grabowski, the 628th Healthcare Operations Squadron commander, were removed from their respective leadership positions. The reasons given were due to "a loss in trust and confidence in their ability to lead," the base told

Late last year also marked the departure of several commanders from their positions.

Col. Christopher Meeker, commander of the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, was removed from his position in December.

Additionally in December, the Air Force punished 15 Air National Guard enlisted members and officers in connection to the case of classified information that was leaked by Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old airman at a Massachusetts base, citing a "lack of supervision" that enabled the incident.

Named specifically was Col. Sean Riley, commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base, and Col. Enrique Dovalo, commander of the 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, a subordinate unit at the base. Both received administrative action related to the incident, reported.

While Riley was relieved of command for cause, Dovalo's punishment was not disclosed, the Air Force said.

Related: Air Force Fires 2 Medical Group Commanders, Reassigns Senior Enlisted Leader

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