LUBBOCK, Texas – Col. Terence G. Taylor, wing commander of Cannon Air Force Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico, sat down with KLBK’s Matt Stell.
Matt Stell: Colonel Taylor, thank you so much for sitting down with us. I want to know who is Colonel Taylor, the commander of Cannon Air Force Base?
Col. Terence G. Taylor: Wow. So 24 years in the military. Now for me, I started out my military journey at Air Force ROTC at the University of Virginia. I was born and raised in Virginia. I’m a small town Virginia guy so I spent most of my formative years there. Then after ROTC, I went into pilot training and ultimately came out to fly one of the aircraft like you see behind us here. The MC-130 H is what I started in and then over the years, I just had the opportunity to fly a number of different aircraft, most recently qualified in the MQ-9, which is one of our remotely piloted aircraft. That is definitely a unique experience. But before getting here or before landing here at Cannon Air Force Base, I was the commander of the First Special Operations Group in Hurlburt Field in Florida. And now just most recently, obviously, the Wing Commander here in the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon and we’re excited to be here.
Matt Stell: Tell us, what are the goals that you have here for Cannon Air Force Base?
Col. Terence G. Taylor: So, the mission of Cannon Air Force Base has not changed because we provide this specialized air power, specifically from the Special Operations Forces perspective, but personally, one of the things that I wanted to do coming into the seat, and I’ll tell you that General Brown, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force has challenged us to accelerate change or lose, and for me, what that means is really giving our Airmen the opportunity, the wherewithal, and the ability to to experiment, to lean forward, and to innovate. That is something that is very important to me and I think that that’s largely the way that we’re going to be able to get after the threats of today and the threats of tomorrow.
Matt Stell: You are the first black commander of the Cannon Air Force Base. Talk about the pressure, the honor , and the accomplishment of you being in this position, in 2021.
Col. Terence G. Taylor: You use the word honor and I think that that’s a great place to start because this is certainly an honor and a privilege for me. You know, I think about the opportunity that I have here and about being the first black wing commander here at Cannon Air Force Base, but I think it’s more than that. I think about being a commander and serving our airmen. I got some advice from one of my mentors before stepping into the seat here as we had this a similar discussion and he said “you may be the first black wing commander here, but don’t be the last” so that tells me every day, I try to just do the best job that I can in the service of our Airmen. But what I will say is, I think it is particularly important, particularly in this day and time, with all that has gone on here over the past couple of years as we look in the military to highlight diversity and inclusion. One of the things personally for me that I have a better appreciation for now is the fact that it means something for our young airmen to see people who look like them in positions of leadership and positions of authority because ultimately that is somewhat freeing. It tells them that there are opportunities for them to do those types of things too and I’m sure you feel the same way. So, again, it’s just an honor and a privilege to be here. I’m certainly glad to be serving in the capacity that I am.