Lieutenant Colonel Rafael Salort is the Vice Commander, Florida Wing, Civil Air Patrol. As Vice Commander, he assists the Wing Commander in leading over 3,300 volunteer Airmen distributed across six geographical groups in the State of Florida. He is also responsible for direct oversight of all six Florida Wing Group Commanders.
Prior to assuming his current position, Lt Col Salort was the Group 1 Commander, Florida Wing, where he oversaw seven squadrons with over 300 members and was responsible for all CAP operations and programs within the Florida Panhandle. Under his leadership, Group 1 was selected as 2015 Florida Wing Group of the Year. He also served briefly as Florida Wing Interim Chief of Staff and managed a wing staff of 70 members.
Lt Col Salort joined CAP as a cadet in Puerto Rico Wing in 1987 and earned the Amelia Earhart Award in 1992. As a senior member, he has served in several positions at the squadron, group, and wing levels in Puerto Rico Wing, Georgia Wing, and Florida Wing.
Lt Col Salort is a graduate of National Staff College, Squadron Officer School (in residence), Inland SAR Planning Course, FEMA Incident Commander Course, USAF Aircraft Mishap Investigation Course, and several NESA courses, among others.
He is an Incident Commander, Level 1 and has served as IC or Deputy IC in over 40 missions to include Exercise America’s Shield, Black Dart, JMAC JCTD, Check Pilot School, Hurricane Matthew’s demobilization efforts, and SAR missions for missing aircraft.
Lt Col Salort holds Master ratings in Operations, Emergency Services, Safety, and Administration, Senior ratings in Command, Logistics, Personnel, and Cadet Programs, and a Technician rating in Professional Development.
Lt Col Salort has been awarded the Exceptional Service Award, Meritorious Services Award, Commander’s Commendation Award, CAP Achievement Award, and Gill Robb Wilson Award, among others. He was also selected as 2014 Florida Wing Incident Staff Member of the Year.
Lt Col Salort earned a B.S. in Aeronautics with a Minor in Aviation Safety from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He works as a Senior Software Test Engineer for Jacobs Aerospace and Technology and is an Air Force Reserve WC-130J Senior Navigator with over 1,700 flight hours, assigned to the 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron – Hurricane Hunters.
He is married to Jessica Salort (née Lopez) and has four children: Mathew, Juliet, Jeslyn, and Jacob.