Colonel Andrea Van Buren assumed command of Southeast Region Civil Air Patrol on August 8, 2019.
She leads the Region’s 9,100 members in six geographic jurisdictions (“wings”) that include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and the territory of Puerto Rico (which includes the U.S. Virgin Islands). She works directly with National Headquarters Civil Air Patrol as part of the command structure, ensuring that all wings stand ready to perform all aspects of the organization’s three missions: Emergency Service, Cadet Programs, and Aerospace Education.
From April 2017 to August 2019, Colonel Van Buren served as the Georgia Wing Commander, where she nurtured a large number of initiatives that resulted in significant increases in top cadet milestone awards and in increased powered flight hour standings, achieving a ranking of third in the country. Her strategic initiatives also created significant cost savings coupled with enhanced operational efficiency throughout the state. Under her leadership, the wing achieved a record number of 2018 national awards. During her tenure, Georgia Wing responded to an unprecedented six hurricanes within a two-year period, coordinating with multiple states and federal and local agencies. The wing also participated in the 2019 Super Bowl preparation activities, coordinating with federal agencies during six months preceding the event to provide aviation training support for the game’s restricted air space.
Colonel Van Buren also served as Georgia Wing Vice Commander - Support and Chief of Staff from April 2013 to 2017 and as Commander, Peachtree-DeKalb Senior Squadron, Atlanta, GA. She holds master ratings in command, administration, personnel and professional development. Colonel Van Buren maintains a significant priority on cadet activities; this includes development of a wing-sponsored scholarship program, rocketry events, and experiential career opportunities such as commercial flight simulators and corporate flight tours. As an aviation insurance professional, she maintains a strong interest in member safety and professional development, emphasizing continual risk management and loss control techniques throughout Southeast Region. In August 2019, the CAP National Commander, Major General Mark E. Smith, awarded Van Buren the Civil Air Patrol Distinguished Service Award, given to a CAP member, for her previous command assignments.
Colonel Van Buren holds a Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor of Science - Business Administration - Aviation Management from Auburn University. She holds a private pilot certificate, including single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument rating. She is a certified member (C.M.) of the American Association of Airport Executives and holds insurance designations of Associate in General Insurance (AINS) and Associate in Insurance Services (AIS). Professionally, she is an Aviation Insurance Broker with Lance Toland Associates in Atlanta, GA, specializing in coverage for airports, aircraft, fixed base operations, products manufacturers, aircraft hangars and aviation workers’ compensation.