Gen. Arnold W. Bunch of the Air Force Materiel Command removed Cooley from command on Wednesday. Cooley was responsible for leading a government workforce of approximately 6,000 people in the laboratory’s nine component technology directorates and the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Two of the directorates — the Space Vehicles Directorate and the Directed Energy Directorate — are based at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque.
Cooley — a graduate of Albuquerque’s Highland High School — served twice at Kirtland Air Force Base, most recently as a commander of Phillips Research Site and Material Wing Director, Space Vehicles Directorate, between 2010 and 2013.
Bunch said Cooley was relieved because of a loss of confidence in his ability to lead. The alleged misconduct is currently under investigation.
“The Air Force takes any misconduct allegation seriously,” Bunch said in a news release issued Thursday. “I expect our leadership to uphold the highest standards and live up to the Air Force’s core values.”