Head of Air Force Warfare Center Relieved of Command

Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten speaks at the Meeting the Needs of the New Defense Strategy panel discussion held Feb. 28, 2019, as part of the AFA's 2019 Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. Staff photo by Mike Tsukamoto.

Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten, who has led the Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nev., since July 2017, was relieved of command on June 2 due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to an Air Combat Command release. ACC boss Gen. Mike Holmes made the decision based on an “alleged unprofessional relationship,” according to the command’s initial statement.

Gersten’s deputy, Brig. Gen. David Snoddy, has taken over command of the Warfare Center until Maj. Gen. Charles Corcoran, previously announced as the incoming head of the organization, takes command in July.

“The Air Force holds leaders to high standards and expects them to uphold the core values of the service at all times,” an ACC spokeswoman told Air Force Magazine, noting there is an investigation ongoing and that further details won’t be released for now.

Gersten is an Air Force Academy graduate who has held a variety of command positions, including as head of the Operations and Intelligence effort of the Combined Joint Task Force in Operation Inherent Resolve, and commander of the 9th Air Force Expeditionary Task Force in the anti-ISIS campaign. He also commanded the 432nd Wing and 432nd Expeditionary Wing out of Creech AFB, Nev., in charge of the bulk of USAF’s MQ-1, MQ-9, and RQ-170 remotely piloted aircraft operations. He commanded the 4th Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah, and has held a variety of Pentagon and ACC staff positions, including as head of ACC plans and programs.

Gersten received national attention when he was interviewed at length on the “60 Minutes” TV magazine in 2015, explaining the role of the forward-based Air Operations Center and the nature of the USAF contribution to the anti-ISIS campaign.

He is a recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit for actions during the Global War on Terror, according to the Hall of Valor Project.

This story has been updated to correct which squadron Gersten commanded at Hill.