Col. Felix Santiago takes control of WHINSEC

The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation has a new commandant.

Col. Felix L. Santiago assumed command of WHINSEC in a ceremony held this morning outside the school's headquarters at Ridgway Hall. The event drew leaders and dignitaries from around the country and across the western hemisphere.

Hosting the occasion was Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, commanding general of the United States Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, KS. Training and Doctrine Command commander Gen. William S. Wallace was also in attendance.

Santiago, a native of Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, took the reins from Col. Gilberto Perez. Perez became the commandant of WHINSEC on March 11, 2004. This morning's change of command also doubled as a retirement ceremony for Perez, a 31-year-veteran of the U.S. Army.

Prior to his assignment to WHINSEC, Santiago served as the military group commander in El Salvador.