Legendary 27th Fighter Wing Receives New Leadership

Col. Scott West assumed command of the 27th Fighter Wing Monday. Colonel West is the former vice commander of the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany and is a command pilot with more than 2,400 flying hours.

Ms. Janet Taylor-Birkey

Col. Scott West assumed command of the 27th Fighter Wing from Col. John Posner here on Monday.
Colonel West, previous vice commander of the 52nd FW at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, received the guidon, marking the official transfer of command, from Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt, commander of the 12th Air Force, in a ceremony attended by his wife, Jane West, Cannon Airmen, community members and the media.
General Schmidt said that while it’s always a challenge to find the next of command for a base, he feels the highest sense of confidence in choosing Colonel West, as the new wing commander for the 27th FW, citing Colonel West’s superb knowledge of Air Force operations.
Colonel West was given the charge by General Schmidt of two priorities upon taking command at Cannon. “The first is to take care of your Airmen and their families. Remember they are your greatest asset. And don’t let the high ops tempo cause you to lose focus of the human side of the equation. Without them, the mission will never get accomplished.”
General Schmidt followed with the second priority to “prepare to deploy, fight and win,” adding that he should be sure Airmen have the guidance and are equipped with the resources to accomplish this mission.
Thanking General Schmidt for selecting him from a pool of talented officers, Colonel West promised that Cannon will get a “strong focus on sustaining combat capability,” under his leadership.
Colonel West gave his first charge to Cannon Airmen by emphasizing a “still do and will do” attitude, saying that whatever the future of Cannon Air Force Base, “We’re still needed, we’re still valued and we’re still on call. Service before self is the will do.”
Nearly 1,000 people gathered in Hangar 208 at Cannon to witness Colonel Posner receive the Legion of Merit award and relinquish the command at Cannon.
Colonel Posner will continue his Air Force career at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., as the deputy director of operations to the National Military Command Center.
Colonel Posner thanked his wife and family for their support during his time at Cannon and also Airmen under his leadership.
Extolling the “unparalleled professionalism and an outstanding formula for success” shown by Cannon Airmen, Colonel Posner said these qualities translate to the war fighting capability of the 27th FW. He then turned his attention to the incoming commander.
“There is no one I would rather turn this wing over to than Colonel Scott West: an outstanding officer, aviator and Airman in his own right,” said Colonel Posner, adding that he looks for the reputation of the 27th FW to continue to grow under Colonel West’s leadership.
“Words are truly inadequate to express just how great it is to be the commander of the 27th Fighter Wing,” said Colonel Posner. “It has been the most rewarding experience of my military career.” He praised Cannon for being the greatest base in the Air Force.