Maintaining a Wing: Alaska Air Guard maintenance chief chosen for command chief position

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Members of the 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, joined their leadership for a change of responsibility ceremony here, Feb. 20. Chief Master Sgt. David Garganta assumed the role of the Wing’s top enlisted leadership from outgoing Chief Master Sgt. Paul Nelson, who left the unit to take the top enlisted position for both the Alaska Army and Air National Guard units. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Edward Eagerton/released)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Members of the 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, joined their leadership for a change of responsibility ceremony here, Feb. 20. Chief Master Sgt. David Garganta assumed the role of the Wing’s top enlisted leadership from outgoing Chief Master Sgt. Paul Nelson, who left the unit to take the top enlisted position for both the Alaska Army and Air National Guard units. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Edward Eagerton/released)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Members of the 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, joined their leadership for a change of responsibility ceremony here, Feb. 20. Chief Master Sgt. David Garganta assumed the role of the Wing’s top enlisted leadership from outgoing Chief Master Sgt. Paul Nelson, who left the unit to take the top enlisted position for both the Alaska Army and Air National Guard units. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Edward Eagerton/released)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Members of the 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, joined their leadership for a change of responsibility ceremony here, Feb. 20. Chief Master Sgt. David Garganta assumed the role of the Wing’s top enlisted leadership from outgoing Chief Master Sgt. Paul Nelson, who left the unit to take the top enlisted position for both the Alaska Army and Air National Guard units. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Edward Eagerton/released)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Chief Master Sgt. David Garganta, the newly-assigned command chief of the 176th Wing, picked up where Chief Master Sgt. Paul Nelson left off here Feb. 20 at a change of responsibility ceremony.

"I'm humbled at the faith placed in me," Garganta said. "I have big boots to fill. I'm going to do my best to overflow those boots with the strength of the young men and women of the 176th Wing."

The ceremony was held in Hangar 1 - right beside the same hangar Garganta's father worked in as an Air Force sheet metal mechanic in the 1970s.

"He would sometimes bring my brother and me with him," Garganta said. "I can still remember those smells like it was yesterday. This is how I fell in love with the United States Air Force."

Garganta brings over 35 years of Air Guard experience to this role, all of which was in the maintenance world. Coming from a mission support standpoint, he understands both operations and what it takes to make it happen.

"He has compassion for the Airmen and the mission," Nelson said. "He understands what we need to do to move towards the future."

Nelson took the reins of the senior enlisted leader position at Joint Forces Headquarters of the Alaska National Guard earlier this month. This is the top enlisted role in the state over both the Army and Air Guard.
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