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Fort Greely missile defense commander loses job over sex misconduct investigation

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 4:41 pm | Updated: 7:29 am, Mon Jun 17, 2013.

FAIRBANKS - Fort Greely’s missile defense commander has lost his command because of an investigation into his treatment of sexual misconduct at the Delta Junction area base.

Lt. Col. Joseph Miley’s command of the Fort Greely-based 49th Missile Defense Battalion was suspended Tuesday, according to army spokesman Marco Morales at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense headquarters in Huntsville, Ala. Miley’s second-in-command is now the unit commander, he said.

A Bloomberg News article last month said Miley was under investigation for not doing enough to crack down on extramarital affairs on post and told soldiers in a Jan. 4 meeting that adultery is not punishable under military law. The Bloomberg article cited an unsigned e-mail to Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, commanding general of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

Morales, the army spokesman in Huntsville, told the Daily News-Miner Wednesday that Miley lost his command because of preliminary findings of a sexual misconduct investigation that started in January.

"It was determined by (Formica, the commanding general) that some of the findings in the investigation pointed to the fact that he lost confidence in Col. Miley’s ability to be the commander," he said.

Moralis said he could not go into the specifics of what is meant by sexual misconduct because the findings are still being reviewed. He did say the findings don’t accuse Miley of sexual misconduct himself.

“I can tell you that there were not any findings that Col. Miley was involved in that,” he said. “It was more a leadership issue than anything else.”

The 49th Missile Defense Battalion operates 26 ground-based midcourse airborne missile interceptors at Fort Greely with a mission of destroying missiles launched by enemies of the United States. The U.S. Department of Defense recently announced a $1 billion expansion of the midcourse interceptor mission that will include the construction of 14 additional interceptors at Fort Greely.

Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter, @FDNMcrime.

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