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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, US Naval Reserve, 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 has served on numerous deployments supporting operations Support Hope, Support Democracy, Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle. 

Colonel Werchan also serves as an Air Force Academy Liaison Officer for the West Florida Region. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the 307th Operations Support Squadron commander at Barksdale AFB, La.  In his civilian occupation, Colonel Werchan is a 24-year pilot for a major airline. 


1991 Bachelor of Science, Marine Transportation, U.S. (Summa Cum Laude) Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point N.Y.

2008 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

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

2014 Air War College, by correspondence

2017 Masters of Art, Leadership, Trident University (Summa Cum Laude)

2018 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, DC.

2020 Director of Mobility Forces Course, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, Hurlburt Field, Fla.


1.  September 1991 - April 1992, surface warfare officer, U.S. Naval Reserve, Military Sealift Command, New Orleans, La.

2.  March 1993 - April 1994, student, undergraduate pilot training, Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, Texas

3.  May 1994 - June 1995, student, C-5A Formal Training Unit, Altus AFB, Okla.

4.  June1995 - February 2003, C-5A/B Aircraft Commander, 137th Airlift Wing, Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, N.Y

5.  February 2003 - November 2008, Air Force Academy Liaison Officer, West Florida Region

6.  December 2008 - April 2009, maintenance officer, 917th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.

7.  April 2009 - August 2016, Chief of Command Post (Nuclear), 307th Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, La.

8.  August 2016 - December 2016, student, B-52H Formal Training Unit, 93rd Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.

9.  November 2016 - September 2018, Commander, 307th Operational Support Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.

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


Rating: command pilot

Flight hours: more than 4,000

Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, C-5A, C-5B, B-52H, C-17


Meritorious Service Medal with three 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                                                                                                                                                                           


Ensign U.S. Navy Reserve September 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 July 2020)