New 161st Security Forces Commander brings a wealth of experience

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Tinashe Machona, 161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
  • 161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Vincent Navarro assumed command of the 161st Security Forces Squadron, Oct. 7, during a ceremony here.

Navarro said he is honored and humbled to be the commander of a squadron that encapsulates integrity and good work ethic – the 161st Security Forces Squadron. He added that he is proud of the unit’s dedication to the mission and its unflinching desire to execute it at the highest possible level.

Col. David Ciesielski, 161st Air Refueling Wing Mission Support Group commander, said the change of command is not only representative of our military traditions, but it provides an opportunity for the future. Ciesielski added, “The ceremony sets the stage for continued success of the squadron as previously recognized by the Air National Guard.”

Navarro applauded the unit’s ability to look out for one another and the support they provide to the wing. “Nothing is more indicative of a person’s character than the sheer amount of support he or she is willing to give a fellow wingman,” said Navarro. He added that he is proud to join the copperhead team – the unit’s nickname.

Navarro served as a law enforcement officer with the Phoenix police department for 10 years.

"It has been a career highlight of mine to have served alongside the finest squadron of Defenders in the Air National Guard, and will always consider each member as family,” said Lt. Col. Denise Sweeney, the wing’s out-going Security Forces Squadron Commander.


Sweeney said Lt Col Navarro brings an outstanding record of service in law enforcement and command. “Our Defenders are primed for great success under his leadership.”


“I do not take my new role lightly,” said Navarro. He added that he is excited to lead the copperhead Defenders.