An Air National Guard commander recently cleared of wrongdoing says he will retire in the coming months because of medical issues, officials announced Sunday.
The Fort Wayne-based 122nd Fighter Wing said Col. David Augustine will retire in three to four months. The former combat pilot cited unspecified medical issues that prevent him from flying and were addressed in the investigation into alleged wrongdoing.
Augustine, 50, has commanded the Fort Wayne base since 2011.
"I am blessed to have had the opportunity to serve almost 32 years in the Air National Guard," Augustine said in statement. "And I can't think of a better place to retire than Fort Wayne. We have a patriotic community that is connected with its military — we are blessed."
Indiana Adjutant General Martin Umbarger announced July 16 that an investigation showed Augustine had not misspent taxpayer money or done any of the other improprieties that had been alleged in an anonymous complaint.
Umbarger will interview candidates to replace Augustine soon, the 122nd said.
Umbarger said in a statement that he was proud of the work that Col. Augustine achieved at the 122nd over the past four years.
"Col. Augustine was the right officer, at the right place and the right time to lead the 122nd Fighter Wing through very challenging times to include conversion, combat and negotiations to ward off the MC-12 and bring the F-16C back to Fort Wayne." Umbarger said.
The MC-12 is a reconnaissance aircraft the Pentagon wanted to base at Fort Wayne's Baer Field. The Guard announced in March the base had been selected by the Air Force to receive 18 F-16 Fighting Falcons to replace the A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft currently based there.