WASHINGTON -- The National Guard general who just completed a seven-month tour as head of the security detail for detainees at the U.S. Naval Base on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has suddenly found himself without a job at his Rhode Island National Guard headquarters.
Brig. Gen. Rick Baccus was told he is being relieved of National Guard duties because he failed to keep his state supervisors up to date on personnel matters and other events while in Cuba, Guard officials said Tuesday.
His Rhode Island supervisors, as well as his commanders at Guantanamo Bay, said the action had nothing to do with his work overseeing the hundreds of guards detailed to police the 600 terrorism suspects detained there.
Lt. Col. Michael McNamara, spokesman for the Rhode Island unit, said Baccus was repeatedly told to keep the guard apprised of all matters relating to the 110 local members of the Guard who went with him to Cuba, and he "consistently" failed to do so.
McNamara said the breaking point came when a National Guard captain from Rhode Island suffered a burst appendix and was transferred to the Walter Reed army hospital in Washington, and officials in Rhode Island never were notified.
"That may sound trivial. But there was seven months of other happenings and General Baccus inherently failed to communicate with us. It just got to the point where we lost all faith and confidence in him."
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