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908th’s new operations group commander makes history

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Max Goldberg
  • 908th Airlift Wing

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The commander of the 908th Airlift Wing, Col. Craig Drescher, transferred command of the 908th Operations Group to Lt. Col. Diane Patton during an Assumption of Command Ceremony at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, August 2.

Patton’s previous assignment was as the Director of Operations for the 908th’s 357th Airlift Squadron from August 2018 to April 2020, at which point she informally took command of the 908th Operations Group.

Drescher lauded Patton for her remarkable career so far.

“She is the first officer in the wing to move from the director of operations to the operations group commander,” asserted Drescher. “To the best of my knowledge, she is the first lieutenant colonel to be the 908th Operations Group commander.”

During the ceremony Drescher highlighted some of the trials and expectations the wing and the operations group are preparing to face.

“We are demanding that we get various Airmen from across our wing ready for deployment,” explained Drescher. He continued with, “We are going to train hard, while working under significant operating restrictions during this pandemic, but we will have them ready.”

During her comments, Patton addressed her expectations of the group.

“We have a team of officers and enlisted members with phenomenal experience and talent to ensure we meet the mission of delivering combat capabilities anytime, anywhere” said Patton.

“From senior enlisted mentors to junior officers and Airmen bringing fresh perspectives, it’s the people that make the mission happen and they do it with excellence each and every time.”

Patton then expressed the honor and pride she has in the group.

“None of this is possible without the people of the 908th, I am honored to be part of this wing and to represent the operations group faithfully on their behalf” she said.

Patton further showed her appreciation by saying, “I’ve always felt a leader is a reflection of the people they lead and there is no finer group which represents the best of the Air Force than the 908th Operations Group.”

Patton first enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserves in November 1997 as an airman 1st class and an aerospace medical technician with the 911th Aeromedical Staging Squadron. She received her degree at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania in 2002. After earning the rank of technical sergeant, she earned her commission from Officer Training School and completed Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas.

She has deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. Patton is a senior pilot, having flown more than 2,700 hours, including over 400 combat hours in the C-130H.