Georgia Wing's Van Buren named next SER commander
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

By National Public Affairs Team, CAP National Headquarters

Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. -

Col. Andrea Van Buren has been named the Southeast Region’s next commander, succeeding Col. Barry Melton, who has held the post since June 2015.

Van Buren will take command of the six-wing region at the National Conference in August. She has been Georgia Wing commander since April 2017.

“Col. Van Buren has served in numerous leadership roles throughout her service in CAP, and we are confident she will continue her efforts to support and grow the mission of our organization as the region commander for the Southeast Region,” said Maj. Gen. Mark E. Smith, Civil Air Patrol national commander and CEO.

Before assuming command of the Georgia Wing, she served as its vice commander and chief of staff. Before that, she commanded the wing’s Peachtree-DeKalb Senior Squadron. She has been a Civil Air Patrol member since October 2000.

During Van Buren’s command, the Georgia Wing increased:

  • The number of cadets attaining top CAP milestone awards
  • Powered flight hours flown
  • Cadet and senior member participation in national and wing activities

​She also focused on nurturing new ideas to streamline operations and procedures. In addition, she implemented outreach efforts to increase philanthropy both within and outside the wing, helping create a wing-sponsored scholarship program and rocketry program events. And the wing’s annual cadet conference was restructured to focus on experience and careers, including commercial flight simulators and corporate flight department tours.

As a CAP member, Van Buren holds Master ratings in Command, Administration, Personnel and Professional Development, along with a Technician rating in Safety. She has a private pilot certificate and holds single-engine land, multi-engine land and instrument ratings.

She earned a master’s degree in Aeronautical Science – Aviation/Aerospace Safety Systems from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a bachelor’s in Business Administration – Aviation Management from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.

Since July 2015, Van Buren has been an aviation insurance broker with Lance Toland Associates in Atlanta, specializing in placing insurance coverage for airports, aircraft, fixed based operators, products manufacturers, aircraft hangars and aviation workers’ compensation. 

Col. Andrea Van Buren
Photo Caption:  Col. Andrea Van Buren
Article Information
Reviewed by: Lt. Col. Andrew Oppmann
Syndicated to: Region Hq, Alabama Wing, Florida Wing
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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.
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