Malmstrom Security Forces Squadron Commander Relieved of Command

Lt. Col. Raymond Fortner, right, accepts command of the 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron from Col. Robert Frederiksen, 341st Security Forces Group commander, July 12, 2017 at Malmstrom AFB, Mont. Fortner was relieved of command on Nov. 13 for "loss of trust and confidence." Air Force photo by John Turner.

Lt. Col. Raymond Fortner, commander of the 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., has been relieved of command.

Col. Aaron Guill, 341st Security Forces Squadron commander, relieved Fortner of his position on Nov. 13 due to “a loss of trust and confidence after a series of events demonstrated that Fortner established and maintained an unhealthy command climate,” according to a Malmstrom statement.

Fortner, who will be assigned to another position at Malmstrom until he rotates to another duty location, assumed command of the unit in July 2017. Maj. Cody Elliott is the unit’s interim commander.

The 341st Missile Wing Inspector General received complaints in August and conducted a preliminary inquiry. A commander-director investigation, which launched on Sept. 21, found evidence that substantiated the complaints, according to Malmstrom officials.

More than 30 individuals inside and outside the squadron were interviewed before the investigation wrapped up on Nov. 8. The legal review was completed on Nov. 11 and the decision was made to remove Fortner from command on Nov. 13, Malmstrom officials said.

Fortner was responsible for training, organizing, and equipping more than 250 security forces personnel assigned to the 741st MSFS, which is made up of the tactical response force airmen who patrol and respond to the missile field along with the 40th Helicopter Squadron, as well as the convoy security forces.

In recent years, several other Malmstrom commanders have been relieved of their positions.

In 2013, the commander of the security forces group, Col. David Lynch, was relieved of command for a loss of confidence.

In 2014, Col. Rob Stanley, 341st commander, resigned and nine other commanders were removed from their positions after a cheating investigation at the wing, including the 341st Operations Group commander and deputy commander, all three missile squadron commanders, and the commander of the operations support group.