WASHINGTON (AP) _ A senior Air Force commander has been relieved of duty for ``inappropriate personal conduct'' and is under investigation by the Air Force Inspector General's office, officials announced Monday.

The announcement gave no indication of the nature of the alleged misconduct.

Lt. Gen. Thomas R. Griffith was relieved Monday of his duties as commander of the 12th Air Force and U.S. Southern Command Air Forces, based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. His command comprises 10 wings of combat airplanes in the West and Midwest regions and Panama, totaling 530 planes and 43,000 personnel.

A terse announcement by Air Combat Command headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, Va., said the action against Griffith was taken by Gen. Joseph W. Ralston, commander of Air Combat Command.

``Ralston took the action because he has lost confidence in Griffith's ability to command due to inappropriate personal conduct,'' the statement said.

No details were provided. Officials at Air Combat Command and at Air Force headquarters in the Pentagon said they could offer no other information about the case. A senior Air Force officer familiar with the case, speaking on condition he not be identified, said Griffith was not being investigated for criminal misconduct and that the allegation against him was not of a financial nature.

The officer said details would be released once the investigation was completed.

Griffith's duties have been assumed by his deputy, Maj. Gen. James F. Record, until a permanent replacement is nominated and confirmed by the Senate, the announcement said.

Griffith entered the Air Force in 1967 after serving as an Army officer since 1963, when he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He later attended the Air Command and Staff College, the Air War College and the Naval War College.

He served in several key Air Force and Pentagon posts, including deputy chief of staff for plans at Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base in 1990-92. He was commander of the U.S. Air Force Weapons and Tactics Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., before taking his final post at Davis-Monthan in July 1994.