SWTW welcomes new commander, Col. Nathan Colunga

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Xiaofan Liu
  • Special Warfare Training Wing

Col. Nathan Colunga assumed command of the Special Warfare Training Wing during a change of command ceremony, July 11, 2022.  Prior to Colunga taking command, he served as the vice commander of the 352nd Special Operations Wing at RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom.  

After accepting command, Colunga expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome from the numerous command teams present at the ceremony and emphasized the gravity of the SWTW’s mission to the members of the SWTW.

“You are the standard bearers for this nation’s and our Air Force’s most elite fighting element,” said Colunga. “You are generating the future force that will counter adversaries foolish enough to test our resolve for years to come.”

As the commander of the SWTW, Colunga will lead two groups with seven squadrons and 12 detachments with a staff of 590 military and civilian personnel training over 900 students at 16 training sites, 20 ranges and 86 facilities across bases in ten states. The SWTW provides initial and advanced skills training for all Air Force Special Warfare specialties, including special tactics officers, combat rescue officers, combat control Airmen, pararescuemen, special reconnaissance Airmen, and tactical air control party officer and enlisted specialties.

The change of command ceremony was presided by Maj. Gen. Michele Edmondson, 2nd Air Force commander, who gave words of encouragement to Colunga and thanked Dula for everything that he did for the SWTW.

“It’s an exciting day for the Special Warfare Training Wing as we thank Mason and Virginia for all that they have done and invested in not just the wing but all of the Airmen and their families,” said Edmondson. “And we get to welcome another great leader and another wonderful family as Colonel Colunga takes the guidon and continues moving the wing forward.”

Col. Mason Dula, the SWTW’s previous commander, was instrumental in transforming the AFSPECWAR training program by merging five specialties to create a single entry standard for prospective trainees, along with revamping the assessment and selection process for AFSPECWAR Airmen, which led to increased trainee production goals. As well, Dula integrated human performance capabilities into SWTW pipelines to optimize performance, resiliency, and safety in a high-risk training environment while tirelessly advocating for the wing’s prioritized facilities sustainment, restoration, and modernization budget that garnered $61 million to upgrade training facilities.

 “We’re here to build warriors equipped to operate in the terror, barbarity, and savagery that characterize ground combat,” said Dula. “And I believe in the marrow of my bones that this wing is now ready to do that work, to grow warriors better than our communities have ever done in the past.”