Friday, July 25, 2008

TOP STORY >> LRAFB JAG to serve as military judge

By Airman 1st Class Steele Britton
314th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The former Little Rock Air Force judge advocate general, Lt. Col. David Castro, has moved on to serve as a military judge at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

“A military judge in the Air Force is basically what it sounds like,” said Colonel Castro. “Military judges will travel inside regions and hear certain cases dealing with Airmen.”

The assignment requires an extensive background in military justice, to include experience as an area defense counsel, prosecutor and as trial lawyer. During his time here at Little Rock Air Force Base, Colonel Castro was responsible for administration of all facets of military justice at Little Rock Air Force Base. His next duty will be as an impartial overseer of the military justice process and ensure the process is fair.

While stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., some of the areas of the Western region Colonel Castro will be responsible for include: Vandenberg Air Force Base, Los Angeles Air Force Base, and Travis Air Force Base, Calif., as well as Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

“The Air Force prefers to keep cases to regions in order to save on expenses and to make judges available on short notice,” he said. “Other judges can still be sent into those areas as the mission requires.”

Prior to taking the assignment, Colonel Castro completed a three-week course at U.S. Army JAG school in Charlottesville, Va.
“The course updates you on all areas of the law and is a requirement to be certified as a military judge,” said Colonel Castro.
Colonel Castro also detailed a process where he will be required to observe a senior judge preside over a variety of cases and will receive feedback on the cases that he will oversee.

“The process is very similar to the on-the-job training many Airmen receive today,” he said.

Looking back on his time here at “The Rock,” Colonel Castro was quick to praise the people and sense of community.
“Our three years here have gone by very fast; I have really enjoyed Little Rock Air Force Base,” said the colonel. “I had always heard great things about the community here before I arrived...we have not been disappointed. The people and community have really made Little Rock Air Force Base a great assignment.”


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