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Wing Commander

Col. David E. McCollum, commander of the Oklahoma Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, heads a force of more than 800 volunteers dedicated to the organization's three core programs: aerospace education, emergency services and cadet programs.

McCollum, headquartered at Tinker Air Force Base, oversees CAP's critical role in Defense Support of Civil Authorities, working alongside the U.S. Air Force to preserve life, alleviate suffering, and provide training support. He ensures readiness, education and training opportunities for his members and represents their interests to external agencies throughout the state.

McCollum's journey with CAP began in 2008, fueled by a long-held interest and the high-profile search for Steve Fossett, where CAP played a significant role. He served in various positions within the Texas Wing, becoming a qualified search and rescue mission pilot and honing his leadership and public affairs skills.

After joining the Oklahoma Wing in 2014, McCollum served as wing public affairs officer, wing director of emergency services, wing chief of staff, and commander of the Oklahoma City Composite Squadron. Notably, under his leadership, the unit saw the lowest member loss rate in the Oklahoma Wing during the COVID-19 pandemic, defying national and regional trends.

McCollum's dedication to continuous learning led him to graduate with honors from the Southwest Region Staff College and CAP's National Staff College. He holds numerous qualifications, including command pilot with more than 2,000 flight hours, mission check pilot, senior incident commander, master ratings in public affairs and emergency services and senior ratings in command and operations. He actively shares his expertise as an instructor for CAP's Volunteer University.

A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, McCollum resides in Oklahoma City, exemplifying the volunteer spirit and commitment that define CAP's mission.       

Bio Current as of 8 April 2024


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