The former deputy commander of the US Air Force Global Command -and grandson of the pilot who dropped the first atomic bomb in combat- reportedly made inappropriate comments while intoxicated and failed to report suicide attempts.
An investigation into Brigadier General Paul Tibbets IV by the Inspector General revealed that he made inappropriate comments about a female Airman and a woman at a Kansas City Chiefs game, reportedly under the influence of alcohol at the time.
In addition, the IG also discovered that Tibbets failed to report four suicide attempts while previously in command of the 509th Bomb Wing in Missouri, as well as pressuring personnel to not record some attempts.
In 2017, Tibbets humiliated a female Airman who received a rank reduction for sleeping with a married man, mentioning the incident at his June going-away party.
“I felt like all the other comments that he had made about me being a good airman and everything were just irrelevant because I felt like that comment that he made was how he truly felt,” the Airman said.
According to the Air Force Times, the Airmen had admired Tibbets up until that point, and that morale in the unit sank to a critical low after the comment was made.
Witnesses to the incident in question report that Tibbets “is more loose with what he says when he has had a couple of drinks,” and claimed the senior officer was intoxicated when he made the comment.
While at a football game in 2016, Tibbets -again under the influence of alcohol- commented on the size of a woman’s breasts, claiming her “large rack” was “hot.”
While other guests did not hear the comment, an officer and non-commissioned officer who did felt that the comment was inappropriate.
“On a professional level, it made me leery,” one witness said. “Okay, if he starts getting [a] couple of drinks in him, what’s he going to say?”
Tibbets is also accused to misreporting suicide attempts and misusing government vehicles, often “shifting goalposts” of what constituted a suicide attempt and using 509th vehicles to go to and from the Kansas City International Airport at least 27 times.
In addition, Tibbets also improperly solicited and received gifts of photographs with celebrities during a convention at Whiteman Air Force Base.
While the reports were compiled earlier this year, they were only released to the public on Monday. In September, the USAF said Tibbets is being forced to retired and will not recieve a promotion to Major General. His retirement date is scheduled for December 1.
Tibbets is the grandson of Brigadier General Paul Tibbets Jr., who piloted the B-29 Enola Gay and dropped the first in-combat atomic bomb over Hiroshima in 1945.
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