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Library > Biographies > COLONEL WILLIAM P. WEST

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Colonel West serves as the 27th Special Operations Group Commander. The 27 SOG accomplishes global special operations taskings as an Air Force component member of the United States Special Operations Command.  It  conducts infiltration, exfiltration, combat support, tilt-rotor operations, helicopter aerial refueling, close air support, unmanned aerial vehicle operations, non-standard aviation, and other special missions. The 27 SOG directs the deployment, employment, training, and planning for squadrons that operate special operations aircraft, including the AC-130W Stinger, MC-130J Commando II, AC-130H Spectre Gunship, MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, CV-22 Osprey, and various light and medium lift intra-theater transport aircraft.

Colonel West earned his commission from ROTC at Texas Tech University in 1989. He has flown more than 2,400 hours as an instructor and evaluator Navigator in the C-141B and AC-130U aircraft. Colonel West has commanded special operations forces at the squadron and expeditionary group level and served as the Deputy Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Colonel West is married to the former Melissa Binner of Kansas City KS, and they have two children, Ryan and Chloe.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Texas Tech University, Texas
Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
Masters Art and Science, Embry Riddle University
Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
Army Command and General Staff College, Ft Leavenworth Kansas
School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
Air War College, by correspondence
National War College, Ft McNair, Washington DC

Present, 27 Special Operations Group Commander
Chief, Strategy Division, 609 AOC, Al Udied AB, Qatar (August 2010-August 2011)
Student, National War College, Ft McNair, Virginia
Executive Officer to Commander AFSOC, Hurlburt Field, Florida
Commander, 1st Expeditionary Special Operations Group (March - June 2008)
Operations Officer and Commander, 1st Special Operations Support Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida
Chief, PACOM Branch, CHECKMATE, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, DC
Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
Student, Command and General Staff College, Ft Leavenworth, Kansas
Chief, Weapons and Tactics, 16th Operations Group, Hurlburt Field Florida
Instructor Navigator, 4th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field Florida
Instructor/Evaluator Navigator, 6th Airlift Squadron, McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey
Student Undergraduate Navigator School, Mather Air Force Base, California

Rating: Master Navigator
Flight Hours: 2,400+
Aircraft Flown: C-141B, AC-130U

Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Second Lieutenant 11 Sep 1989
First Lieutenant 11 Sep 1991
Captain 11 Sep 1993
Major 1 Jan 2001
Lieutenant Colonel 1 May 2005
Colonel 1 Sep 2009

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