By Darrell Todd Maurina
Col. Robert “Rowdy” Yates, commander of the 27th Fighter Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, has announced he will soon be leaving for Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
Langley is the headquarters of Air Combat Command, the major command of the United States Air Force that includes the 27th Fighter Wing. In e-mail correspondence with the Clovis News Journal, Yates said his new role at Langley will be “Special Assistant to the Air Combat Command Director of Operations.”
Yates’ replacement, Col. John Posner, will be coming to Cannon from Langley. Posner currently serves as the Vice Aerospace Expeditionary Force Center Commander, according to Yates.
Cannon will hold a change of command ceremony at 3 p.m. on April 2 to mark the transition between Yates and Posner.
Cannon is conducting a major training exercise to test its ability to deploy people and equipment to an overseas location, according to Cannon public affairs staff who said Yates was unavailable for further comment on his new role.
Air Combat Command is one of the Air Force’s major organizational divisions and its headquarters at Langley controls more than 110,000 military and civilian personnel at 16 major bases including Cannon and 13 subordinate units at other bases under the authority of different command structures, according to the ACC’s Web site.
Air Combat Command’s role in the Air Force is to fly fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, battle-management, electronic-combat and rescue aircraft, according to its mission statement, as well as providing command, control, communications and intelligence systems, and conducting information operations.
Cannon’s incoming base commander is currently the vice commander of a unit at Langley that coordinates air expeditionary force operations by assisting in the planning and scheduling of AEF assets, identifying and refining training requirements, guiding deployment and redeployment planning, monitoring readiness, and providing continuity across the AEF spectrum, according to its mission statement.