Brig. Gen. Mark Atkinson, commander of the 8,000-person 402nd Maintenance Wing at Robins Air Force Base, is being reassigned as director of logistics, installations and mission support for Headquarters Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
The Defense Department made the announcement late Friday. Neither Atkinson nor Robins officials could be reached for comment.
However, base sources told The Telegraph that Atkinson will be replaced by Col. Lee K. Levy, currently the deputy director for logistics and sustainment at Air Force Materiel Command headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The change will take place no later than May 30. AFMC is the parent agency for Robins.
Atkinson’s tenure has been marked by clashes with local union officials, but Tom Scott, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 987, was conciliatory on Friday. Local 987 is the bargaining unit for most civilian workers at Robins, including thousands of blue collar employees in the 402nd.
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“We wish Gen. Atkinson and his family all the best at Ramstein,” Scott said. “We look forward to improved relations.”
The 402nd achieved a number of goals under Atkinson’s leadership, the most recent and significant being named winner of the Air Force’s depot maintenance effectiveness award for 2008. The award recognizes the local center’s lead position among the Air Force’s three maintenance depots.