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Library > Biographies > COL. WILLIAM P. WEST

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Colonel William P. West is Commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing located at Hurlburt Field, Fla. He is responsible for preparing Air Force special operations forces for missions worldwide in support of Army, Navy, Marine and allied special operations forces and USAF counterparts. The wing's mission includes infiltration, resupply, air refueling, and precision fire support, employing over 70 aircraft including the AC-130U, MC-130 H/P, CV-22B, U-28A and PC-12. These capabilities support a variety of special operations missions including direct action, unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, counterterrorism, personnel recovery, psychological operations and information operations.

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, AC-130U, and AC-130W aircraft. He has commanded special operations forces at the squadron and group level and served as the Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component in Afghanistan.

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

Commander, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla. (July 2013 - Present)
Commander, 27th Special Operations Group, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. (September 2011-June 2013)
Chief, Strategy Division, 609 AOC, Al Udied AB, Qatar (August 2010-August 2011)
Student, National War College, Ft McNair, Va.
Executive Officer to Commander, AFSOC, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
Commander, 1st Expeditionary Special Operations Group (March - June 2008)
Operations Officer and Commander, 1st Special Operations Support Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
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 Air Force Base, Ala.
Student, Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.
Chief, Weapons and Tactics, 16th Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
Instructor Navigator, 4th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
Instructor/Evaluator Navigator, 6th Airlift Squadron, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J.
Student Undergraduate Navigator School, Mather Air Force Base, Calif.

Legion of Merit
Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters
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

(Current as of August 2013)

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