302nd Maintenance Group receives new commander

  • Published
  • By Laura Fitzmorris
  • 302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 302nd Airlift Wing gathered for a ceremony Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, to witness Lt. Col. Michael Spaulding assume command of the 302nd Maintenance Group at Peterson Space Force Base.

“I want to thank everyone for taking the time to be here this morning, and for your service,” said Col. Christopher Sedlacek, 302 AW commander and presiding officer of the ceremony. “And for the maintenance group, your recent performance in the readiness exercise, you guys did an outstanding job!”

The 302 AW, specifically the maintenance group, is at a key juncture in transforming for the future and enhancing readiness, according to Sedlacek.

“After 20 years of fighting the global war on terror from major installations in the Middle East, we are transitioning to the possibility of a near-peer fight that will be conducted from remote islands in the Pacific,” said Sedlacek. “We are [also] experiencing the largest consolidation of modernization efforts to the legacy C-130 fleet since its design; 3.5 engine mods, 8-bladed props, defensive system upgrades and impending major avionics upgrade.”

The final transformation for the group, said Sedlacek, is the change of leadership.

“In searching for leadership to step in and lead during a time of major transformation like this, it’s more than just finding someone who’s qualified. It’s about finding the right person at the right time, and I believe Col Spaulding is the right person.” said Sedlacek, directing his attention to Spaulding. “I want to welcome you to the 302nd and know and trust you will lead this talented and motivated team as we prepare for the future and continued defense of this great nation.”

According to his Air Force biography, Spaulding has experience as Air Force active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and as a government civilian. He began his career as an enlisted Airman and commissioned in 2002 as a 2nd Lieutenant through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

“I want to thank my wife and my family. They’ll never understand how much it means to me that they’re willing to put up with this life,” said Spaulding, after assuming command of the group. “To the Airmen of the 302nd Maintenance Group, I’m excited to be joining this team. I’ve been here for a week now and I’ve been able to watch and see what’s going on and I’m very impressed with everything I’ve seen. I look forward to working with you!”