161st welcomes new maintenance group commander

GOLDWATER AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ariz. --

Lt. Col. Fausto Padilla assumed command of the 161st Maintenance Group Saturday, during a ceremony here.

Although new to the wing, Col. Troy Daniels, 161st Air Refueling Wing commander, said Padilla’s compassion for people will ring true to the values of the Copperheads.

“You are getting an outstanding individual,” said Daniels. “It’s his compassion for people that will help him fit in extremely well with the Copperheads. He has a long history in maintenance and more than 20 years of leading people. His leadership is well developed and it will serve us, not only in the maintenance group, but also throughout the wing. One of the first things he said to me was that he has ‘faith in the human spirit’. That says a lot about him as a leader; he believes in his people.”

Padilla said he learned what it meant to be a leader as a young lieutenant.

“Twenty-two years ago I began my career and a senior [non-commissioned officer] told me ‘you need to put on a pair of coveralls, get out there on the jet, get to know your folks and go see what they do’,” said Padilla. “His leadership lesson was to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. This was the first of many lesson’s I’d learn from senior NCO’s.”

He said although the maintenance group is very accomplished, there is still a lot of work ahead, but they will overcome any obstacles that may face them in a manner that will honor those who served and sacrificed in the past.

“We will continue to hold each other accountable, we will remain committed to our goals of our core values of integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do,” said Padilla. “I pledge to you my honesty, and my best effort and service.”