Local News

Pope Air Force Base Welcomes New Leader

Posted November 21, 2001 2:14 a.m. EST

— In a change of command ceremony Monday, Col. Winfield Scott became the new leader of Pope Air Force Base. The command pilot has been in the Air Force for more than 25 years.

As Col. Scott takes command of the Air Force base, he said that his vision is clear. With hundreds of troops deployed in the War on Terrorism, the mission will be his number one priority.

"We will continue to focus on readiness, and improve the processes. We'll continue to evolve our practices and techniques and procedures to ensure we continue as the best in the world," he said.

Known to his friends as Skip, Col. Scott is a command pilot with experience in joint special operations. He takes over a busy base; in the past two and a half years, Pope airmen have flown more than 36,000 hours and nearly 12,000 missions.

"As we conduct this ceremony today, people are fighting the war against terrorism and rescuing aid workers," said Scott.

A picture out of Pakistan is proof. It shows a Pope C130 with rescued aid workers Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry standing nearby.

Pope's outgoing commander, Brigadier General Dick Casey, said be assured that Pope Airman are in the middle of it all.

"As usual, when the nation calls, men and women from Pope, from this wing, are the first to respond and we usually have the most people in harm's way," he said.

Casey leaves Pope Air Force Base to join the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Washington.