Wing commander looks ahead

U.S. Air Force Col. Ben Maitre, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, settles into the cockpit of a CV-22 Osprey March 6, 2015 at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Having assumed command of the 27th SOW Feb. 17, Maitre has since dove in head-first to all things Cannon. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Matthew Plew)

U.S. Air Force Col. Ben Maitre, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, settles into the cockpit of a CV-22 Osprey March 6, 2015 at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Having assumed command of the 27th SOW Feb. 17, Maitre has since dove in head-first to all things Cannon. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Matthew Plew)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Col. Ben Maitre, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, opened up about his plans for Cannon and his Air Commandos during an interview with the Clovis News Journal, March 10.

Having assumed command of the 27th SOW Feb. 17, Maitre has since dove in head-first to all things Cannon.

“I knew coming in that Cannon was a great training environment,” said Maitre. “We have great opportunities here that we cannot take advantage of elsewhere, and a huge advantage is the relationship the base has with the local community. I have found, from the day I walked in the door, great interactions with people both on and off base.”

“My focus for the wing has two fundamental parts: To continue to execute specialized airpower and to continue building what is already a premier Air Force installation,” he continued. “Last year, the Air Force Times ranked Cannon among the top 10 bases in the Air Force, and for good reason. What I would like to continue to cement as we bring those operational sets and missions to fruition, is that quality of life plays a major part, both in terms of interacting with personnel and our community partners.”

Using the knowledge and experiences gained over 12 assignments and a decorated career, Maitre is looking to ensure that Air Commandos at Cannon are afforded the quality of life that meets the needs of 24/7 operations, like the Food Transformation Initiative and the possibility of a smoothie bar in the base fitness center.

“We have a couple of other initiatives in progress to make sure we get quality food to our airmen, and get them access to a variety of healthy eating options throughout the very diverse schedules they have,” said Maitre.

Keeping up with a mission that requires extreme concentration and motivation, Air Commandos are driven by knowing their wing commander is the ultimate wingman; pushing for quality of life initiatives while striving for excellence.

“We are here every day, working 24/7,” Maitre said. “One of the things we exemplify as Air Commandos is the ideal of consistently acting as quiet professionals. It is a matter of being diligent, getting the mission done and coming back and doing it again the next day - every day.”