Campanile assumes command of 403rd Operations Group

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kristen Pittman
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Kevin J. Campanile assumed command of the 403rd Operations Group in a ceremony at the Roberts Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Facility auditorium Nov. 7.

Overseeing the ceremony was 403rd Wing commander, Col. Stuart M. Rubio.

Before introducing the new commander, Rubio first recognized Lt. Col. Shane Devlin for stepping in as interim commander when Rubio vacated the position to become wing commander. He recalled the challenges such as COVID-19, hurricane season, and fiscal constraints, faced in the five months Devlin covered the post.

“As I look at Lt. Col. Campanile’s career thus far and how he plans to lead the group, I believe he fits perfectly in the nature of what we are here at the 403rd and especially in the 403rd Operations Group,” said Rubio. “When I led the group, I defined that nature as ‘many missions, one team, leading the way’ and that is exactly what I see when I look at what he has already accomplished and how he will lead in the future.”

Campanile’s Air Force career began in 2002 when he earned his commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of West Florida where he was slotted as a weapons system officer aboard the B-1B Lancer aircraft.

After serving on Active Duty, he made the move to the Reserve in 2010 where he became a navigator in various models of the Hercules aircraft, and eventually reached master navigator status, amassing over 2,500 flight hours.

In his 11 years with the Reserve he has held a number of different positions, including, most recently, Joint and Combined Exercises Branch Chief in the United States European Command’s Joint Training and Exercises Division at Patch Barracks, Germany.

As 403rd OG commander, Campanile will be responsible for the 403rd Wing’s two flying squadrons, the 815th Airlift Squadron and the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, the 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the 403rd Operations Support Squadron, and two satellite weather flights, the 5th and 12th Operational Weather Flights at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

After receiving the 403rd OG guidon from Rubio, Campanile thanked a list of people and groups including his wife and three children for their support during his career, explaining that during active duty they had moved once, and since he’s joined the Air Force Reserve, they’ve moved seven times.

“I know these moves can be hard on the family, especially as kids get older, but they’ve been so supportive and I can’t thank them enough,” he said. “I’d also like to thank the unit and the whole 403rd Wing. This has been one of the warmest welcomes I’ve gotten. (Lt. Col.) Devlin has given me an incredible start and his passion and dedication to the group really shines through in all of our interactions. I really appreciate coming into an organization that is highly competent and has a lot of passion for the mission.”

Campanile then went on to speak on the challenges Rubio had referred to, briefly praising each squadron and flight on their ability to work through the challenges the past year has thrown at them.

“It’s an honor--it’s very humbling to be here,” he said in closing. “I would have never thought I’d be here doing this job, and I look forward to getting to know everybody and getting to work.”