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Former crew chief assumes command of the 433rd AMXS

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Mike Lahrman
  • 433rd Airlift Wing

The 433rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron welcomed Maj. Nicholas Velazquez Jr. who assumed command during a change of command ceremony Sept. 10.

Velazquez previously served as the 433rd Maintenance Squadron commander.

Velazquez enlisted in the Air Force as a C-5 Super Galaxy aircraft mechanic in 1996, then transitioned into the Air Force Reserve’s 433rd Maintenance Group in 2005 through the Palace Chase program. He was selected to attend Officer Training School through the Deserving Airman Commissioning Program in 2011, eventually becoming the 433rd AMXS maintenance operations officer right before his appointment as the 433rd MXS commander.

“Going from a flightline crew chief to a commander was not easy; it took dedication, hard work and some risks,” Velazquez said. “Whenever you get an opportunity to lead, do it with all your heart and soul, because you don’t know the impact it will have on your future.”

Lt. Col. Carla Martinez, 433rd Maintenance Group commander, presided over the ceremony and said Velazquez should be proud of his accomplishments.

“Velazquez leaves the 433rd MXS in a fantastic spot as he’s made significant strides through manpower and funding challenges, together with his team,” Martinez said.

Lt. Col. A. Spence Pennington relinquished command during the ceremony and, in his farewell remarks, delivered a message directly to Velazquez and said he’s proud of the Airmen he’s handing over.

“I leave you a disciplined, tough set of Airmen, who live in an environment of high standards, care and empathy,” Pennington said. “They demand from you as much as you’ll demand from them.”

As 433rd AMXS commander, Velazquez now leads a team of Airmen responsible for performing on-equipment maintenance support to maintain the health of eight assigned C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, enabling the fleet to meet operations training requirements and strategic airlift mission taskings.

The 433rd AMXS trains assigned reserve personnel to augment active duty gaining major command forces as required.