Lt. Col. Scott Wolfe

Published 12:26 am Sunday, February 24, 2008

Former Picayune resident Lt. Col. Scott Wolfe was honored in a command changing ceremony on Friday, February 15, as he took up the baton to lead the 73rd SOS at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Col. Wolfe’s family moved from New Orleans to Picayune when he was just three years old. His parents worked for the Picayune school system. His mother, Joyce Wolfe, Picayune resident for more than 40 years, was a teacher’s assistant at South Side Elementary. His father, who is now deceased, taught at the Junior High.

While Col. Wolfe attended Picayune Memorial High School he cultivated his team spirit by playing in the quarterback position on the PMHS football team. He graduated from the high school in 1983.

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He took his passion for football into his military training, which began immediately after high school. In prep school, Col. Wolfe continued to play football. He completed the training after one year, and then went to U.S. Air Force Academy. After graduating from the Academy, he remained there for another two years coaching football as a graduate assistant.

In 1990, Col. Wolfe left the Academy to receive Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). He received this training at the Williams Air Force Base in Phoenix, Ariz. Upon completion, one year later, he received his aircraft assignment. Col. Wolfe was assigned to the MC-130P Combat Shadow.

The primary function of the MC-130P aircraft is air refueling for special operation forces helicopters. Combat Shadows have been part of the special operations missions since the mid 1980s. Col. Wolfe spent the following year in training with this special operations aircraft.

During the next four years, Col. Wolfe was assigned to the 9th SOS (Special Operations Squadron), stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. He participated in various military campaigns including the Post Gulf War campaign and the Northern Watch campaign, which aided the military in restricting flights to nations with which the country was at war.

He left Eglin when he was deployed to Okinawa, Japan. There he was a part of the 17th SOS, and still flying the MC-130P. He remained in Japan from 1996-1999, then went inactive.

Col. Wolfe became a pilot for Northwest airlines where he is currently employed, but with the events following the September 11 attacks, Col. Wolfe got a phone call asking him to re-enlist. He went active again in 2003. His training and highly skilled expertise with the special op aircrafts was greatly needed for the events that would follow the World Trade Center attacks.

Col. Wolfe was chosen to stand up in a new squadron, the 73rd SOS, and asked to fly the new special op aircraft, the MC-130W. The MC-130W was designed to accomplish many of the same missions as the previous aircrafts, plus it has the ability to air-to-air refuel special operations helicopters. According to the MC-130W Combat Spear fact sheet, it will be housed at AFSOC bases worldwide.

AFSOC, or the Air Force Special Operations Command, is Col. Wolfe’s organization, which is comprised of a number of highly skilled individuals. They are the elite of the United States Air Force. “We are known as the tip of the spear,” said Col. Wolfe. “We are heavily engaged in keeping the nation safe.”

Col. Wolfe has been part of several campaigns since he rejoined, including the Global war on Terror (GWOT), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF — the fight in Afghanistan). He has participated in OIF and OEF a multitude of times.

On June 20, 2007, the Air Force announced the new mission for Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, where Col. Wolfe is currently stationed. The decision came after it was determined the Base needed to find a new use or it’s doors would be closed by 2010. In the multi-faceted process Cannon became the new home for an AFSOC wing. The 73rd SOS was the first squadron to be moved to Cannon. “It is a pretty big squadron, and we have plans to have a slow build up [of people] until 2010,” said Col. Wolfe. The hope is to have more than 150 people by that time.

“The whole base is building since the change of command under Col. Wolfe,” said Captain Mae-Li Allison, Chief of Public Affairs, USAF. The February 15 ceremony celebrated the command change, and Col. Wolfe’s new role both at Cannon and with the 73rd SOS.

In addition to an impressive career with United States Air Force, Col. Wolfe has been married for 12 years to Tade Wolfe, and has two sons, Will and Owen. His family is able to be with him at Cannon Air Force Base.

Summing up his recent choice to become active again, Col. Wolfe said, “I am proud to be coming back in to fight this war — this is my calling. God willing this war will end soon.”