Fighter wing welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Maj. Roxy Hambleton
  • 482nd Force Support Squadron

Members of the 482nd Fighter Wing welcomed a new commander during a wing change of command ceremony Sept. 9. During the ceremony, Col. David Piffarerio assumed command from Col. David Garfield.


Maj. Gen. Ronald Miller, Commander, 10th Air Force, presided over the ceremony as 482nd Fighter Wing Airmen, civilians, family, and community leaders witnessed the event.


Miller thanked the families of both incoming and outgoing commanders and stated that “Colonel Piffarerio and his family will be a great addition to the ‘World’s Greatest Fighter Wing’.”


He praised Garfield on the many accomplishments the wing realized during his three-year tenure, to include deployments for three groups in support of the expeditionary mission and real world Hurricane Irma evacuation and recovery.


Garfield then took the stage and thanked his commanders, honorary commanders, mission partners, and community partners, “without which we could not have accomplished all we did.” He also covered highlights of the last three years and offered advice to the Makos in the audience and in formation.

“As we look to the future we have to pay forward what we learned from the past” said Garfield as he encouraged the Airmen to continue performing to the high level they had been.


Garfield wished the new commander success, and to the Airmen, he said, “I know you gave it your best - and that is all I ever asked of you.”


Garfield has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general and his next position is as the Mobilization Assistant to the Director of Plans, Policy, and Budgeting, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.


Miller then presided over the change of command ceremony as the 482nd FW guidon was transferred from Garfield to Piffarerio who then assumed command.  

In his remarks, Piffarerio turned to community leaders in the audience and acknowledged the “clear reflection of the partnership between the city of Homestead, the 482nd Fighter Wing, and the community.”


He then thanked his wife, Dr. Jennifer Piffarerio and his son, Bryce for their support over his career. Piffarerio also thanked his father, Lt. Col. (ret) Pierre Piffarerio for “introducing me to the Air Force.”


Piffarerio then spoke to the Airmen under his new command and pledged to them that “the strategic challenges that face our wing will take priority.”


“What you do on a daily basis, is a critical component of our national mission,” said Piffarerio.


The new commander closed by saying, “Today, I ask of you only one thing - that is simply to do your best, every day, and I promise to do the same as well.”


Piffarerio was commissioned in 1994 as an honor graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours in a variety of aircraft including the F-15E and the F-22. Piffarerio was the first pilot in the USAF to reach 1,000 flight hours in the F-22 Raptor.


Prior to assuming command of the 482nd FW, Piffarerio was the Command Center Director at Joint Headquarters North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.