An Air Force special operations commander who oversaw training AC-130 gunship crews was relieved of command this week after being arrested for allegedly choking a woman and child.   

Air Force Lt. Col. Brent P. Byng was relieved as commander of the 19th Special Operations Squadron on Monday, according to Air Force Special Operations Command, or AFSOC, after being arrest on June 23 on domestic violence and related charges.

“Command is a privilege, not a right,” AFSOC said in a statement. “The Air Force has a strict zero-tolerance policy for illegal activity conducted by its members on or off base and holds commanders to the highest standards. In the interest of the unit, the member, and the Air Force, Lt Col Byng was relieved from command for cause.”

Byng was arrested by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office in Florida on June 23 for allegedly choking a woman and a child, according to WKRG-TV, a CBS affiliate television station that covers Florida and Alabama.

Subscribe to Task & Purpose today. Get the latest military news and culture in your inbox daily.

He is also accused of taking the woman’s cell phone so that she could not call for help. 

Byng has been charged with felony counts of cruelty towards a child, obstructing justice, battery, and aggravated assault, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office.

A member of Byng’s family reached by phone on Wednesday told Task & Purpose that he did not want to comment for this story.

Byng had led the squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida for little more than a month, according to AFSOC. His official biography was not immediately available and an interim commander has been appointed, officials said. The 19th SOS trains flight crews of the AC-130 and MC-130, the specialized gunship and tankers versions of the C-130 cargo plane flown by AFSOC.

 AFSOC said it is aware of Lt. Col. Byng’s arrest and Air Force officials are fully cooperating with the local authorities, adding that the incident is being investigated by local law enforcement.

“We have full confidence in our community partners to conduct a thorough and fair investigation into this incident and are cooperating fully with any requests they have,” AFSOC said.

The latest on Task & Purpose

  • Uniform inspections and stricter shaving rules coming in renewed Air Force focus on ‘standards’
  • One of the Army’s top Nuclear teams trained with Rangers and Green Berets
  • The 4th Infantry Division’s huge obstacle course looked like the zombie apocalypse
  • Army barber’s 57 year legacy with the Airborne leads to haircutting hall of fame
  • Master Chief William Goines, first Black Navy SEAL, passes away at 88

The post Air Force special ops commander fired after domestic violence arrest appeared first on Task & Purpose.