Texans rein in new commander

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Traci-lyn Howells

Col. David W. Compton took command of the 136th Airlift Wing during a dual assumption of command and retirement ceremony at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, December 11, 2021.

Texas Deputy Adjutant General-Air, Maj. Gen. Thomas Suelzer, officiated the ceremony in which Col. Keith Williams relinquished command prior to his retirement after 34 years of service, and Compton assumed command.

Suelzer praised Williams for a job well done, noting the true measure of any commander’s success is not how well he or she performs individually, but how well the unit performs.

“Under your leadership, this wing has performed exceptionally, and has faithfully answered the call from both our state and nation,” he said.

Suelzer recapped the crises the unit has responded to in the last two years including deployments, COVID response, protests, winter storms, and the Texas border mission. He also praised the wing for the most recent highlights, including being selected as home of a new aeromedical evacuation squadron, as well as being awarded the 2020 Outstanding Unit award.

He spoke of Compton’s breadth of experience when announcing him as the next commander.

“Today, we are honored to pass the torch to another highly qualified leader,” he said. “Thanks for taking on the awesome responsibility of leading this magnificent wing.”

Compton commissioned in 1990 through the Reserve Officer Training Course program at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. He completed undergraduate navigator training and served on active duty for 10.5 years before transitioning to the Texas Air National Guard.

He has served as an evaluator navigator, squadron chief navigator, wing plans officer, operations support squadron and group commander. His most recent position was the 136 AW vice commander.

In his new role, Compton will command a wing of more than 1,000 Citizen Airmen.

“It’s very much an honor and a privilege to serve as your wing commander,” he said. “I’m proud to serve the 136 AW, the state of Texas, and the United States of America. You guys make this wing second to none.”

The 136 AW is one of three flying units in the Texas Air National Guard, with a mission to provide highly trained, equipped and motivated military forces for worldwide combat and peacetime tasking. The wing currently flies and maintains eight C-130J aircraft.