Cannon commander reassigned

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer

After almost two years commanding Cannon Air Force Base, Col. John Posner is leaving March 6 for the Pentagon, officials said this week.

Posner has been commanding the base since April 2004, according to Lt. James Nichols of Cannon Public Affairs.
Col. Scott West of Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany will take over when Posner leaves, Nichols said.

“This is a normal process. About every two years we get a new commander,” Nichols said.

West hasn’t arrived at Cannon yet, Nichols said.

Posner will be missed, said Kim Huffman, who served at Cannon until 2002 and currently directs the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce.

“The awards he’s led Cannon to are incredible,” Huffman said.

Posner handled the pressure of following orders during the Base Realignment and Closure process, when federal officials recommended Cannon’s closure, Huffman said.
“Col. Posner has been in a rough position to do what his boss tells him to do, and he has done that well. … I think he’s just been under a lot of pressure,” Huffman said.

Posner will attain rank of brigadier general when he arrives in Washington, D.C., Nichols said. He will serve as deputy director of operations for the National Military Command Center, operations Team One at the Pentagon, according to a Department of Defense news release.

“I consider it a vote of confidence,” Posner said in a November interview with the CNJ, after his promotion was announced. “I am very honored.”

Posner has clocked 3,800 hours of flight time as a command pilot, and he has 200 hours of combat time under his belt, according to his biography.

Spangdahlem Air Base, where West is coming from, is home of the 52nd fighter wing. It’s a wing with a busy deployment schedule since Operation Enduring Freedom began, and has squadrons specializing in supply, maintenance, support and logistics, according to the base’s Web site.

Neither Posner nor West could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.