156th Wing Change of Command

  • Published
  • By Capt. Brandon Patterson
  • 156th Wing

On Saturday, October 15, 2022, Col. Pete Boone, outgoing commander 156th Wing, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, relinquished command of the wing to Col. Humberto Pabon Jr., incoming commander 156th Wing, in a ceremony at Muniz Air National Guard Base, here.

Boone was the commander of the 156th Wing from August 2019 to September 2022. Under his leadership, the organization went through a unit conversion, relocation of 237 displaced Airmen as a result of the conversion, secured $48 million dollars in military construction funding for the base, earthquake response, navigated response efforts and safeguarding Airmen during a global pandemic, standing up two new mission sets and overall greatly increasing unit readiness.

“I could not be more proud to have served alongside these incredible, dedicated and professional Airmen and to call myself a Bucanero from the 156th Wing,” said Boone. “These Airmen have challenged me, inspired me, and taught me how to be a better man, officer, and leader, and for that I am grateful.”

The formal assumption of command ceremony is a ceremony rooted in history, dating back to the Roman Legions. Military organizations developed flags or colors unique to their unit. Soldiers followed their colors into battle and always knew who to look for leadership. The public exchange of colors acknowledged the formal change of command.

Brig. Gen. Paul Loiselle, the assistant adjutant general-air, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, was the presiding officer of the change of command.

“Simply put, Pete, we (the Puerto Rico Air National Guard) are significantly better off due to your leadership, dedication, remarkable commitment and daring passion,” said Loiselle. “You have made a difference.”

Following Boone relinquishing command and Pabon assuming command, Pabon shared his vision for the future of the wing.

“The gravity and responsibility of this role are not lost on me,” said Pabon. “Our wing is evolving nicely, not undermining our challenges, but as we come out of conversion my biggest priorities are operational readiness and inspections with institutionalized compliance; mentorship and development of all Airmen while impacting quality of life issues for our base population. I am happy to be here and serve alongside you to continue our wing evolution. Pete did an outstanding job when an outstanding leader is what we needed.”

Pabon began his military career in the enlisted force as a member of command post. He was commissioned in 1998 and in 2000, he graduated from pilot training school. He has served in several leadership positions at the squadron, group, wing and joint forces headquarters level. Most recently, he served as the vice wing commander of the 156th Wing.

“This is a great opportunity,” said Pabon. “And, with every great opportunity, there is a challenge. The bar is always set higher than the person before you, Pete set a high bar and I am honored to continue where he left off.“