Lt. Col. Cynthia A. Welch is the Commander of the 446th Operations Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The 446th Operations Group provides Combatant Commanders worldwide strategic airlift support including aeromedical evacuation and Antarctic resupply operations. The 446th OG consists of five squadrons, including three C-17 airlift squadrons, an operational support squadron, and an aeromedical evacuation squadron. Part of the Air Force Reserve Command’s 446th Airlift Wing, the 446th OG is an associate unit at the 62nd Airlift Wing.

Lt. Col. Welch attended San Diego State University, San Diego, Calif. She received her commission through the US Air Force Officer Training School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in 1998. She is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours in numerous aircraft.

Prior to her current assignment, Lt. Col. Welch served as the operations officer, 301st Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, California. As operations officer, she assists the commander in leading 90 Airmen, provides C-17 combat-ready crews to higher headquarters in support of global airlift and tactical mission requirements, supervises all flight operations, including administrative personnel to include training, budget planning, and operations execution.

1994 Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, Calif.
2006 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2014 Master of Military Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence

1. June 1998 - June 1999, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
2. August 1999 - October 1999, Student, C-5 Formal Training Unit, 356th Airlift Squadron, Altus AFB, Okla.
3. October 1999 - January 2001, C-5 Strategic Airlift Pilot, 312th Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
4. January 2001 - October 2002, Assistant Operations Officer, 312th Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
5. October 2002 - July 2007, Assistant Chief Pilot, C-5 Aircraft Commander, 709th Airlift Squadron, Dover AFB, Del.
6. August 2007 - November 2007, Student, Distinguished Graduate C-17 Training, Altus AFB, Okla.
7. December 2007 - March 2009, Assistant Operations Officer and C-17 Pilot, 326th Airlift Squadron, Dover AFB, Del.
8. April 2009 - June 2010, Assistant Chief of Training, C-17 Aircraft Commander, 326th Airlift Squadron, Dover AFB, Del.
9. July 2010 - July 2011, Assistant Chief of Training, C-17 Instructor Aircraft Commander, 326th Airlift Squadron, Dover AFB, Del.
10. May 2012 - May 2013, Chief of Training and C-17 Instructor Pilot, 326th Airlift Squadron, Dover AFB, Del.
11. May 2013 - September 2015, Chief Readiness Operations, Headquarters Fourth Air Force, March ARB, Calif.
12. September 2005 – October 2020, Operations Officer, 301st Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
13. October 2020 – Present, Commander, 446th Operations Group, McChord AFB, Wash.

Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 5,000 including more than 530 combat and 180 combat support hours
Aircraft flown:  C-5A, C-5B, C-5C, C-17A

Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 'M' device

Second Lieutenant April 24, 1998
First Lieutenant April 24, 2000
Captain Oct. 1, 2002
Major Oct. 1, 2009
Lieutenant Colonel, October 1, 2006

(Current as of October 2020)




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