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Colonel Shawn Werchan is the vice commander of the 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is the second most senior officer responsible for the training and readiness of more than 2,000 Airmen in 19 units. The wing has an inventory of nine C-17 Globemaster III aircraft with a mission to provide unrivalled airlift and agile combat support across the spectrum of military operations. The 445th provides worldwide movement of high priority personnel and cargo. Missions range from local pilot proficiency training, aeromedical evacuation and worldwide strategic airlift, to night-vision goggle, low-level, short-field assault operations.


Colonel Werchan received his commission from the United States Merchant Marine Academy before joining the New York Air National Guard.  He flew the C-5A aircraft with the New York Air National Guard for 10 years before joining the Air Force Reserve in 2003. Colonel Werchan currently serves as an Air Force Academy Liaison Officer for the East Florida Region.  Prior to his current assignment, he served as the 307th Operations Support Squadron commander at Barksdale AFB, La.  In his civilian capacity, Colonel Werchan has been a Captain for a major airline since 1996. 



1991 Bachelor of Science, (Salutatorian) Marine Transportation, United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point N.Y.

2008 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

2009 Joint Nuclear and Command Control, Offutt AFB, Neb.

2010 Nuclear Aircrew Emergency Action Procedures, Offutt AFB, Neb.

2014 Air War College, by correspondence

2017 Master’s degree in leadership, Trident University (Summa cum Laude)

2018 Reserve Component National Security Course



1.  May 1991 - April 1992, Military Sealift Command, New Orleans, La.

2.  February 1993 - April 1994, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, Texas

3.  February 1995 - July 1995, Student, C-5A Formal Training Unit, Altus AFB, Okla.

4.  July 1995 - August 2003, C-5A Pilot, 137th Airlift Wing, Stewart ANGB, Newburgh,  N.Y. (July

     1995- Operation Support Hope, Rwanda Africa); (September 1995- Operation Uphold    

     Democracy, Haiti); (December 2000 - December 2001- Activated for Operation Enduring 

     Freedom); (December 2002 - December 2003- Operation Noble Eagle)

5.  August 2003 - July 2013, Air Force Academy Liaison Officer, East Texas Region, CAT E

6.  August 2008 - May 2016, Chief of Command Post, Barksdale AFB, La. (October 2010 - May  

     2011, Chief of Command Post, Ballad Air Base Iraq)

7.  August 2015 - May 2016 -  B-52H Formal Training Unit, Barksdale AFB, La.

8.  May 2016 - September 2018, Commander, 307th Operational Support Squadron, Barksdale

     AFB, La.

9.  October 2018 - Present, Vice Commander, 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio



Rating: Command Pilot

Flight hours: More than 21,000 (4,000 military)

Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, C-5A, C-5B, B-52H, 727, 737-300, 737-500, 767-200, 767-300 and 747-400



Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters      

Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster      

Air Force Achievement Medal    

Meritorious Unit Award  

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters      

National Defense Service Medal with bronze star          

Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze stars      

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal 

Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal    

Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short          

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border          

Air Force Longevity Service      

Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two 'M' Devices        

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Pistol)          

Navy Pistol Shot Medal



United Airlines Captain of the Year for Chicago 2007

137th Airlift Wing Pilot of the Year 1996

137th Airlift Wing Pilot of the Year 1997



Ensign U.S. Navy Reserve May 15, 1991

Second Lieutenant May 29, 1992

First Lieutenant May 29, 1994

Captain August 1, 1996

Major August 1, 2003

Lieutenant Colonel October 1, 2010

Colonel September 18, 2018


(Current as of October 2018)