Col. West assumes command of 27th SOG

USAF: Airman 1st Class Ericka Engblom Col. Kirk Smith, 27th Special Operations Wing vice commander, hands the guidon to Col. William West 27th Special Operations Group commander, on Sept. 9 at Cannon Air force Base. West formally served as the chief of strategy division for the 609th Combined Air and Space Operations Center.

By Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal: 27th SOW Public Affairs

Col. William West, former chief of the strategy division for the 609th Combined Air and Space Operations Center, assumed command of the 27th Special Operations Group during a ceremony Sept. 9 at Cannon Air Force Base.

Col. Kirk Smith, 27th Special Operations Wing vice commander, presided over the ceremony.

The 27 SOG is an impressive organization, said Smith. Someone with as much tactical experience as West is the ideal person to lead this group.

In his 22-year Air Force career, West has logged more than 2,400 hours as a master navigator in the C-141B Starlifter and AC-130U Spooky. He has received numerous awards and decorations to include a Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster, a Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, an Air Force Commendation Medal, an Army Commendation Medal and an Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters.

During the ceremony, West took time to thank all attendants for their dedication and Col. Smith for his kind words.

“It’s great to be a part of the Air Force Special Operations Command again,” West said. “I am honored to be here at Cannon.”

West gave a special thanks to his wife Melissa for her strength, perseverance, and support.

“Everyone knows Cannon, the SOW, and the SOG; you should be proud of your accomplishments here,” said West. “I will continue the great work of my predecessors, and we will continue to develop airmen while fostering the ethos of Air Commandos.”