The City of University Place is pleased to extend a warm welcome to Colonel Derek “Shane” Finison, who has been named commander of U.P.’s Community Connector, the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) at Joint Base Lewis McChord.
Col. Finison is a decorated AH-64A Apache pilot who has served during numerous combat and operational overseas operations. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with “C” device, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster and the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters.
The JBLM Community Connector Program links local municipalities with specific units from JBLM. The program’s goal is to encourage community support and partnership with soldiers and families assigned to live within surrounding communities.
The 16th CAB Battalion is comprised of approximately 2,500 soldiers and is the largest Aviation Brigade in the Army. Its members regularly contribute to events in University Place, often providing additional volunteer help at community clean-ups, special events and other local projects. Through their volunteer service, the soldiers connect with the community, and in return, U.P. strives to make the city a welcoming “home away from home” for these soldiers while stationed at JBLM.