Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pentagon Demotes Former AFRICOM Chief

Pentagon demotes former Africom chief

WASHINGTON — US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to demote William Ward, former chief of US Africa Command, for acts of misconduct related to misuse of government funds, the Pentagon announced last week.

Ward was stripped of a star to retire as a three-star Lieutenant General, while the Army seeks to recoup from him about US$82 000 in expenses “stemming from Gen Ward’s misconduct in travel, misuse of military aircraft, misuse of staff and the receipt of reimbursements to which he was not entitled,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.

Little said that the Defence Department’s Inspector General issued a report of investigation in June 2012, which substantiated Ward’s acts of misconduct during his tenure as commander of the US Africa Command from 2007 to 2011.

In a Pentagon report, Ward was found to have spent US$129 000 on an 11-day trip with an entourage of 13 military and civilian personnel.

“Secretary Panetta insists that leaders within the Department of Defense exemplify both professional excellence and sound judgment . . . The secretary is committed to ensuring that any improprieties or misconduct by senior officers are dealt with swiftly and appropriately,” the statement added.

The demotion was announced amid the sex scandal involving David Petraeus, a retired four-star general who resigned a fortnight ago as CIA director, after he was found to have an extramarital affair with his female biographer, Paula Broadwell. — Xinhua.

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