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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 465-96
August 06, 1996

CT-43 ACCIDENT UPDATE

The Department of the Air Force announced today the individual actions taken following the April 3, 1996 crash of a CT-43 aircraft in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The crash killed Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and 34 others.

The convening authority, Gen. Michael Ryan, commander of United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), directed actions against sixteen Air Force officers ranging from punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to counseling. Each of the officers involved was provided the opportunity to present mitigating information, either personally or in writing, to Ryan prior to his final decisions. Details of the actions affecting officers receiving the most serious sanctions follow.

- Punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ was presented to two officers:

Brig. Gen. William E. Stevens, former commander of the 86th Airlift Wing, was punished for dereliction of duty for negligently failing to ensure that non-DoD published instrument approaches were not being used by 86th Airlift Wing aircrews without first obtaining a terminal instrument procedures (TERPS) review, and approval from USAFE. He received a reprimand under provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Col. John E. Mazurowski, former commander of the 86th Operations Group, was punished for dereliction of duty for willfully failing to ensure that non-DoD published instrument approaches were not being used by 86th Airlift Wing aircrews without first obtaining a terminal instrument procedures (TERPS) review, and approval from USAFE. He received a reprimand under provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

- Letters of reprimand were presented to two officers:

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey G. Cliver, former director of operations, HQ USAFE, was reprimanded for failing to exercise effective oversight of Air Force flight directives, failing to delineate responsibilities within his organization, and for not inquiring into the apparent failure of the 86th Airlift Wing to comply with Air Force directives.

Col. Roger W. Hansen, former vice commander of the 86th Airlift Wing, was reprimanded for failing to take appropriate measures to ensure the wing complied with the requirement to have non-DoD published instrument approaches reviewed for safety before they were flown.

In addition to the actions taken against the officers listed above, actions were taken in the cases of twelve other officers. A summary of those actions, in descending order of severity, follows:

- Four colonels received administrative letters of admonishment.

- Two lieutenant colonels received administrative letters of admonishment.

- Two lieutenant colonels received administrative letters of counseling.

- Two majors received administrative letters of counseling.

- Two lieutenant colonels received verbal counselings.

The actions taken today reflect the Air Force's commitment to ensure accountability for, and to learn from, the tragic events of April 3rd. Once the CT-43 accident investigation was complete, that commitment involved an effort to fairly and objectively determine, on a case-by-case basis, appropriate actions while ensuring the rights of the individuals involved were protected.

Article 15s and letters of reprimand are significant sanctions. Letters of admonishment, letters of counseling, and verbal counselings are lesser sanctions, one purpose of which is to be corrective in nature. They are tools for a commander to use to advise an individual that some aspect of his or her performance needs correction to meet Air Force standards.

While the Privacy Act generally protects the privacy rights of individuals who have had non-judicial or administrative action taken against them, the Air Force today is releasing the names of those senior officers who received the most significant sanctions, in light of the substantial public interest. To allow the officers who received lesser sanctions the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and to protect their privacy interests, the Air Force will not release their names.