Second Weather Group welcomes new commander

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- The 2nd Weather Group held a change of command ceremony in the 557th Weather Wing auditorium August 1.

Col. Jason Patla took command of the 2nd WG from Col. Donald Shannon, in true military fashion with the passing of the guidon.

"To the men and women of the 2nd WG, I am so excited and honored to serve as your commander for the next two years," Patla said. "I look forward to meeting each and every one of you and learning what you do, and thank you in advance for going down this road with me."

Patla comes to Offutt from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, where he served as the 17th Operational Weather Squadron commander.

"I think he's going to hold his own with a lot of PhDs at the Weather Wing," said Col. Steven Dickerson, commander of the 557th Weather Wing. "His record is awesome - not just his experiences, but he's been number one throughout his career. He's a truly phenomenal officer."

Patla's new team has accomplished many great feats over the least two years under Shannon's command, including aiding in the transition from the Air Force Weather Agency to the 557th WW.

"It has been my honor to serve you, and it has absolutely been my honor to be your group commander," Shannon said to the 2nd WG members in attendance. "You do things people don't know about. You're amazing Airmen, and you've embraced everything I've asked of you. I've watched the transformation in your attitude and the way you do your work over these last two years, and it was amazing. I am truly awestruck by you."

In honor of Shannon's accomplishments, Dickerson presented him the Legion of Merit.

"Col. Shannon has done an incredible job being the commander of the 2nd WG," Dickerson said. "It would be an honor to serve with you again. We're going to miss you greatly, but we know you're going to do great things."

Shannon will be joining the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.

The 2nd WG delivers timely, relevant and specialized terrestrial, space and climatological global environmental intelligence to Joint warfighters, DoD decision-makers, national agencies and allied nations for the planning and execution of missions across the complete spectrum of military operations.