Guard officer reassigned

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 15, 2004
Investigations into allegations of wrongdoing at the Meridian-based 186th Air Refueling Wing have led to the reassignment of the officer who oversaw the Regional Counter Drug Training Academy.
Gen. Ike Pylant, Mississippi's assistant adjutant general, confirmed today that Col. Robert "Earl" Pierce of the 186th Air Refueling Wing, who oversaw the RCTA, was relieved of command. RCTA, which trains law officers in various aspects of drug law enforcement, is run by the Mississippi Air Guard but physically located on-base at Naval Air Station Meridian.
Pylant would not disclose Pierce's new assignment, but news reports indicated Pierce was reassigned so he could have time to work on defending himself against allegations stemming from the probe.
Pylant said he doesn't know when the legal review of the investigation will be completed.
An investigation into allegations first raised by Col. Jody Bryant of Meridian and others has been completed by Col. Ken Emmanuel, a staff judge advocate for the Florida Air Guard in Jacksonville. The allegations range from falsification of documents to the use of racial slurs against a former 186th pilot.
While some parts of Emmanuel's findings have reportedly been turned over to the Guard, none of it has been made public.
Pylant said Pierce is the only person who has been reassigned as a result of the investigation, although the 186th ARW's top commanders were reportedly allowed to retire soon after allegations surfaced.

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