Lt. Col. Collin Charlie Christopherson, commander of the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, Air Force, was booked into Okaloosa County Jail in Florida on Feb. 18 following suspected driving while under the influence and a hit and run.
According to Military.com, the arrest report states that police responded to a call reporting a truck was driving recklessly around 4:40 p.m. Prior to police arrival, the truck collided with another car at a traffic light before leaving the scene. When located by officers, Christopherson reportedly smelled of alcohol and lost his balance upon exiting his vehicle.
Currently released on a $15,000 bond, Christopherson faces three separate counts related to alleged drunk driving, according to Okaloosa court records. Christopherson has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving with property damage and driving under the influence with injury and/or property damage.
At this time, whether the occupants of the other vehicle suffered injury has not been released.
A spokesperson for the Air Force confirmed Christopherson has been relieved from his duties while his case is pending.
“The Air Force has strict zero-tolerance policy for illegal activity conducted by its members on or off base and holds commanders to the highest standards,” Tech. Sgt. Michael Charles, spokesman for the 1st Special Operations Wing, said to Military.com. “Lt. Col. Christopherson has been removed from command of the 1st Special Operations Maintenance System.”
FaceBook posts show that Christopherson, 27, was instated as Commander on May 21, 2021. The 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron in Hurlbut, Florida maintains both the AC-130U gunship and the AC-130J Ghostrider, as well as provides support to training and contingency requirements to other squadrons.
The arrest has placed Christopherson’s previously commendable military career in jeopardy. In 2013, Christopherson was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Combat Action Badge for his service while deployed in Afghanistan.
While deployed, Christopherson managed $133 million dollars and oversaw contracting professionals provided support and necessary construction the 173D Airborne Brigade Combat Team at Forward Operating Base Shank in Southeast Afghanistan. During his service, he lead military forces in operations to protect unarmed civilians.
In an attempt to aid service members struggling with substance use, the Air Force, along with other military branches, participates in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT).
Available services are evidence-based outpatient treatment, referrals for inpatient treatment and educational outreach. Members can self-refer or be referred by commanding officers or medical personnel.
According to myjag.com, the Air Force has policy dictating that members who struggle with a substance disorder should be assisted, however, if illegal activity occurs the member’s continued service may be terminated.