Marine Aviation Training Unit Commander Fired

FILE -- U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Christopher N. Kinsey gives his remarks during the CNATT change of command ceremony, Marine Corps Air Station New River, June 9, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Austin M. Livingston)
FILE -- U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Christopher N. Kinsey gives his remarks during the CNATT change of command ceremony, Marine Corps Air Station New River, June 9, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Austin M. Livingston)

The commanding officer of a North Carolina-based aviation training unit has been relieved of his command, the Navy said this week.

Lt. Col. Christopher Kinsey, commanding officer of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit-Marine Unit, out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, was fired Thursday by Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, commander of Naval Education and Training Command, officials said.

Kinsey was relieved due to loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command, and an investigation into the matter was ordered, said Cmdr. James Stockman, a Navy spokesman. He said the investigation was directed by Brig. Gen. Benjamin Watson, commander of Marine Corps Installations East out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, but could not comment on its findings due to privacy considerations.

Kinsey has been temporarily assigned to MCI-East. The unit's executive officer, Maj. Anthony Ripley, is serving as acting commanding officer, Stockman said.

Kinsey enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1991 and initially trained as a weather observer, according to information provided by Nat Fahy, a spokesman for MCI-East. He rose to the rank of staff sergeant before earning his commission through the Meritorious Commissioning Program in December 1999. He trained as an aircraft maintenance officer and later completed deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, Djibouti and the Horn of Africa.

Prior to commanding CNATTU-MARU, Kinsey served as deputy director of protocol for Marine Corps Commandants Gens. Joseph Dunford and Robert Neller, then as assistant for administration for the Department of the Navy.

He took command of CNATTU-MARU in May 2017.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Strike/Flight numeral 3, Combat Action Ribbon, Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals and the Presidential Service Badge.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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