12:06 PM

Next Florida Wing Commander Named

Col.-select David A. Panzera

FLwingCivil Air Patrol’s Southeast Region commander, Col. Jeff Garrett, has named Col.-select David A. Panzera as the Florida Wing’s next commander. 

Retired from the U.S. Air Force, Panzera brings both military and civilian experience to his newly appointed command post. Most recently he has served as Florida Wing Group 8  commander and deputy commander of the 89th MacDill Aviation Cadet Squadron in Odessa.  

Panzera will succeed Col. Luis Negron, who has led the Florida Wing since 2021. The change of command ceremony is set FLgroup8for April 6 at the wing’s annual conference in Orlando. 

“Col.-select Panzera brings a wide range of experience and qualifications that make him the clear choice to follow Col. Negron in leading the Florida Wing into the future,” Garrett said. “He is a leader with clear vision and great humility who will continue to build strong teams in the wing and the region.” 

NYWG patch (final design, 7-21)A Civil Air Patrol member since 2006, Panzera served as director of cadet programs for the New York Wing in 2018 and commander of the wing’s Schenectady Composite FLmacdillSquadron from 2012-2015, among other CAP assignments. He was the CAP-USAF liaison in New York in 2014 before retiring from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel after 32 years of service. 

His aviation experience includes more than 9,100 total flying hours as an Air Force C-130 pilot/instructor pilot, Jet Blue A320f first officer, and general aviation pilot. 

He is a graduate of the Air Force Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama,NYschen as well as Embry-USAF_-_Air_Command_And_Staff_CollegeRiddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Panzera’s CAP career includes encampments and special activities experience in Florida and New York. 

“Civil Air Patrol has always been, for me, about the cadets primarily, but then about the missions and all the people involved,” he said. “My take on it when I first joined was that I was home … in a place where we get to have a serious impact in the next generation of amazing American citizens and to assist our communities in every possible way, big and small. 

“I look forward to joining this great team, carrying on what Col. Negron has accomplished and building upon it as well as learning from everyone.” 

Panzera and his wife, 2nd Lt. Wendy Panzera, the MacDill squadron’s officer for personnel and for finance, live with two guardian children in Hernando County. They are also the parents of five adult children.