Schwalier Files Lawsuit

Retired Brig. Gen. Terryl Schwalier has filed suit in US District Court in a bid to reverse a punishment he received after the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing. Named as defendants in their official capacities are Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. Schwalier was commander of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, when terrorists attacked base housing at Khobar Towers on June 25, 1996. Nineteen airmen died and 240 more were injured in a massive truck bomb blast. Three Air Force investigations absolved Schwalier of any blame. However, then-Defense Secretary William Cohen took punitive action and rescinded Schwalier’s previously approved promotion to major general. Schwalier twice petitioned the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records to correct his rank on the retired rolls. In both 2004 and 2007, the AFBCMR sided with Schwalier, but was overruled by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Schwalier is suing now because he has “exhausted all other alternatives” and because a group of private individuals has come forward to help with expenses, he told the Daily Report. He added, “It was a hard decision to make.” Continue