The Command Staff of South Carolina Wing consists of five leaders:
Wing Commander - Col Lee Safley
Colonel Safley joined Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in 2004 as a senior member along with his children who joined as cadets. His duties in the SCWG have included unit logistics officer, unit safety officer, wing director of safety, wing chief of staff and wing vice commander. He serves on the CAP National Command Council.
Safley achieved CAP Level V and earned the Gill Robb Wilson award in 2016. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air War College (DL-2019) and the Air Command and Staff College (DL-2015) programs. He also graduated with a Master of Business Administration in Human Resource Management from Columbia Southern University and a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology from Oklahoma State University.
His previous volunteer emergency service includes State Fire Commission, State Fire Academy Advisory Committee, assistant district fire chief, deputy sheriff, and emergency medical technician
Throughout his professional career Safley has been responsible for fire protection and safety programs in the chemical, electric and gas industries including nuclear power. He recently retired as a Safety Manager with Dominion Energy.
Vice-Commander Operations - Lt Col Chris Peterson
Lt Col Chris Peterson serves as the Vice-Commander of Operations. Lt Col Chris Peterson joined the Civil Air Patrol in 1990 as a cadet in the North Carolina Wing, and transferred to the South Carolina Wing in 1996 as he transitioned to Senior Member and attended college in the state. His roles within the South Carolina Wing of Civil Air Patrol have been numerous, and include serving as Deputy Commander for Cadets and leading as Squadron and Group Commander. After assuming the role of Director of Cadet Programs he moved on to serve as the Standards and Evaluation Officer, and later served as the Director of Operations. More recently he has assumed the role of Chief of Staff, and was appointed Vice Commander (CV) for Units and currently serves as CV for Operations. He oversees Operations and Flight Operations, Emergency Services, Standards and Evaluation, Aircraft Maintenance, and Communications within the Emergency Services Mission area of Civil Air Patrol.
Peterson achieved CAP Level V and earned the Gill Robb Wilson award in 2020. He is a graduate of Southeast Region Staff College 2010 and National Staff College in 2020. He holds a Masters Degree in Aerospace Science with a concentration in Human Factors and a Graduate Certification in Safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He also holds a Bachelors of History and minor in Latin American Studies and Pre-Medicine from the College of Charleston. He is a current Flight Instructor-Instruments and Airline Transport Pilot with 3500 hours of experience.
Lt Col Peterson is currently the Design Engineering Manager for a Defense Department Contractor and Sr. Flight Instructor for a Cirrus Training Facility. He has formerly held multiple professional aviation positions including Chief Flight Instructor (Pt. 141 and 61), Chief Pilot (Pt. 135), and Flight School Manager (Pt. 61 and 141).
Throughout his professional career Lt Col Peterson has been involved in management of people, property, and processes as well as managing safety and environmental aspects.
Vice Commander Units - Lt Col Nikki Shaffner
Lt Col Nikki Shaffner currently serves as the Vice Commander for Units. She previously served as Wing Chief of Staff. Lt Col Shaffner earned her Gen Billy Mitchell Award as a Cadet in Michigan Wing before she transitioned to senior member in the Illinois Wing and served in the Ohio Wing as well. She moved to South Carolina in 2014 and served as the Wing Inspector General before joining the Command Team.
Lt Col Shaffner is a 2016 graduate of the National Inspector General College and a 2017 graduate of National Staff College. In 2017 she achieved Level V and earned the Gill Robb Wilson Award (3451). She has a Master of Business Administration in Management from Walsh University and a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management.
Lt Col Shaffner holds a Master Rating in six specialty tracks – Cadet Programs, Command, Inspector General, Personnel, Professional Development, and Administration and Senior Ratings in Plans and Programs and Public Affairs. She is also qualified as a Public Information Officer, Finance/Admin Section Chief, Mission Safety Officer, and UDF/Ground Team Member.
Lt Col Shaffner is employed by Apex Tool Group as a Buyer/Planner. She has served on the Board of Directors for VOCI (2012-2014) and as a Volunteer/Trainer for Youth for Understanding (2010-2020).
Chief of Staff - Lt Col Bruce Brown
Lieutenant Colonel Bruce W. Brown is currently assigned as the Chief of Staff, South Carolina Wing. He serves as special advisor to the Wing Commander and is responsible for the organization, training and compliance of nearly 900 Senior and Cadet members.
Lt Col Brown has been a member of the South Carolina Wing since December 2011 where he joined as a member of the Aiken Composite Squadron. Prior to assuming his current position, Lt Col Brown was the Wing Director of Emergency Services, providing oversight for all Emergency Services operations and training within the Wing. He currently holds a Master rating in the Emergency Services specialty track, he has earned 18 mission qualifications and he has completed Level V of the CAP Professional Development program, earning the Gil Robb Wilson award.
Lt Col Brown is a native of Summersville, W.Va. He began his military career with the West Virginia Air National Guard in October 1991 and attended Basic Military Training and Technical School at the U.S. Air Force Security Police Academy at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. In 1994, he transferred to the U.S. Army where he served in the Military Police Corps and was assigned as a guard at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. In 2002, he received a commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. He is currently serving on Active Duty and is assigned as a Medical Service Corps Officer at Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, Ga. He has deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served multiple assignments in the Continental U.S. and in the Republic of South Korea.
Wing NCO - MSgt C. Dan McManus
MSgt C. Dan McManus serves as the South Carolina Wing Non-Commissioned Officer. MSgt McManus joined Civil Air Patrol in 1988 as a cadet in the South Carolina Wing and as a cadet completed eight encampments, the Middle East Region Cadet Leadership School, Basic and Advanced Hawk Mountain, and Region Cadet Competition. Rising to the rank of C/Maj he served as the Cadet Commander of Lexington Composite Squadron and the 1992 South Carolina Wing Summer Encampment Cadet Commander.
In 1993 MSgt McManus enlisted in the USAF, serving as a C-141B Crew Chief, C-141B Flight Engineer, and KC-10A Flight Engineer. As a Flight Engineer, he served as an Instructor and Evaluator, culminating more than 4600 hours of flight time and 11 deployments while traveling around the world with Air Mobility Command. MSgt McManus’s Air Force decorations include the Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Iraq Campaign Medal.
In 2009 MSgt McManus separated from the US Air Force, initially working for Siemens Energy as the North American Region Training Coordinator, although since 2013 he has worked for EcoPower, a joint venture between Pratt & Whitney and ST Engineering, where currently he is the Manager of Implementation and Training, globally responsible for new customer implementation, training, and curriculum.
Since returning to Civil Air Patrol in 2018, he has completed one encampment as a Training Officer, served as Cadre for the Mid-Atlantic Region Honor Guard Academy, and attended the National Emergency Services Academy. He is currently the South Carolina Wing Command NCO and Mid-Atlantic Region Honor Guard Academy Deputy Commandant.
MSgt McManus holds two Associates degrees from the Community College of the Air Force, and a Bachelor and Master’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
The Wing Commander has overall responsibility for all operations in the wing.
The Vice-Commanders are able to represent the Wing Commander during the absence of the Wing Commander. All squadrons report to the Vice Commander of Units. The Vice Commander of Operations handles the emergency Services side of things.
The Chief of Staff is also able to represent the Wing Commander as necessary. Most directorates and staff positions report to the Chief of Staff, although some report directly to the Wing Commander.
The Wing NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) advises the Wing Commander and other Command Staff about protocol and acts in an advisory capacity at the Wing level.