Former AFSOUTH command chief to face court-martial

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The former command chief of the 12th Air Force – also known as Air Forces Southern – will face a court-martial in October, according to the Air Force.

Chief Master Sgt. Jose Barraza was removed from his position at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona on Nov. 23 due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to carry out his duties,” according to a news release from November.

He faced an Article 32 hearing in May as a result of charges stemming from an investigation by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.


Chief Master Sgt. Jose Barraza was removed from his position as command chief of the 12th Air Force and Air Forces Southern on Nov. 23 due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to carry out his duties.”
Photo Credit: Air Force

Barraza is charged with one specification of willfully disobeying an order, seven specifications of dereliction of duty, two specifications of making false official statements, two specifications of indecent recording and five specifications of obstruction of justice, according to his charge sheet.

The charge sheet stated that Barraza told special agents with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations that his relationship with someone whose name was redacted would be classified as professional, when in fact he had engaged in a sexual relationship with the person.

With an intent to deceive, according to the charge sheet, Barraza said he would not sexually pursue someone in AFSOUTH.

He’s also being charged with influencing the person to conceal their sexual relationship from law enforcement by persuading her to delete text messages from her cellphone, according to the charge sheet.

Barraza also deleted contents from his cellphone to conceal evidence of the unprofessional relationship, according to the charge sheet. These contents included images and video of the “private area” of the woman without her consent.

The arraignment will be at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on Aug. 29-30, and the trial will be Oct. 10-14, according to Air Combat Command.

Barraza joined the Air Force in 1989 and became AFSOUTH’s top enlisted adviser in June 2015. A January 2014 Airman Magazine story, ” Playing the Pawn,” told the story of how Barraza rose from a gang member in Los Angeles to a leader in the Air Force.

The 12th Air Force reports to Air Combat Command and serves as the air component for U.S. Southern Command. It provides air and space support for the military in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Charlsy Panzino covers the Guard and Reserve, training, technology, operations and features for Army Times and Air Force Times. Email her at cpanzino@militarytimes.com.