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CAP-USAF Changes Command

  • Published
Col. Mark A. “Woot” Wootan officially became the 31st commander of Civil Air Patrol-U.S. Air Force April 17.

In a ceremony in the main hangar at Maxwell Air Force Base, Wootan assumed command from Col. Michael D. Tyynismaa, who has led CAP-USAF since August 2014 and is retiring from active duty.

“I am truly humbled with this command,” Wootan said. “Colonel Tyynismaa built a great team and, as importantly, strengthened an already strong CAP, CAP-USAF relationship. I am eager to get started and help CAP grow and flourish.”

As CAP-USAF commander, Wootan is responsible for ensuring CAP — the Air Force auxiliary — is organized, trained and equipped to fulfill Air Force-assigned missions. CAP-USAF provides day-to-day support, advice and liaison to CAP’s more than 60,000 members and provides oversight for CAP programs, with emphasis on safety and program requirements. CAP-USAF personnel are also the primary function interface between other federal agencies and CAP.

CAP-USAF is staffed with approximately 200 active-duty, Reservist and civilian airmen at CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell AFB and locations in New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, Colorado, California and Florida, as well as in Puerto Rico and at several overseas Air Force installations.

“We welcome Colonel Wootan to this new command post and look forward to his leadership,” said CAP National Commander/CEO Maj. Gen. Mark Smith. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to CAP-USAF. This experience is certain to help shape our organization moving forward.”
Wootan, with 30-plus years of active-duty Air Force service in international relations, military operations, command and defense, has served with Tyynismaa as national vice commander of CAP-USAF since July 2018.

“In my nearly nine months as Col. T’s vice commander, I’ve had the opportunity to attend many exercises, operation evaluations and conferences,” Wootan said. “I remain amazed by the efforts, energy and professionalism of CAP members and staff. This is going to be a lot of fun.”

Before his CAP-USAF assignment, Wootan was an Air Force foreign affairs officer, serving for three years as the senior defense official and defense attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic, and nearly two years as the defense and air attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.