US F-16 maintenance commander fires at South Korean base

Colonel Jay Berchu, commander of the 8th Maintenance Group at Gunsan Air Force Base in South Korea, was dismissed on Oct. 11 due to a “loss of confidence” in his leadership, the Air Force Times learned.

Bertsch has been reassigned out of the unit after four months of service, Colonel K. Paige Hankerson, a spokesperson for the 8th Fighter Wing, said Tuesday. His lieutenant, Lieutenant Colonel David Breuer, stands as the group’s new boss.

The Air Force declined to say why the unit had lost faith in Belch, or what disciplinary action might be taken.

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“The Wolfpack holds its leaders to a high standard, reflecting the importance of the mission and responsibility they bear to guide their airmen,” Hankerson said. , no further information is provided at this time.”

Bertsch took over on June 10, managing 1,100 people and an annual budget of $2.4 million. The 8th Fighter Wing flies his F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters over the Pentagon’s top priority area, the Pacific.

“He is responsible for daily flight and maintenance operations, mid-level maintenance, component repair, and combat wing maintenance training with 43 permanently assigned … aircraft,” he said, now deleted. says the cached version of his official biography.

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Bertsch enlisted as a mechanic in 1990 and was commissioned as an officer in 2001.

According to his biography, he began his officer career in 2002 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and moved to Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico in 2005.There he earned the title of Company Grade Officer of the Year Captain of the 49th Aviation Maintenance Squadron.

Bertsch has since held multiple positions in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Air Force and Air Combat Command headquarters. He has been deployed to Iraq and Qatar in leadership roles and served as a company commander at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.