The Air Force fired Lt. Col. Jason Heard as director of the Thunderbirds air show last week due, in part, to concerns with his "leadership" style, according to a branch statement issued Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander, terminated the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron commander on Nov. 20 at the end of the group's season.
"While Heard led the team through a highly successful show season, Leavitt lost confidence in his leadership and risk management style," the Air Force statement read. "Leavitt determined that new leadership was necessary to ensure the highest levels of pride, precision, and professionalism within the team."
"This was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one that is ultimately in the best interests of the Thunderbird team. I am personally grateful for Jason's dedication to the 2017 season," Leavitt said.
Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, the Thunderbird's 2016-2017 operations officer, has temporarily taken over until a new commander can be appointed.