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Welch proud to accept command of 446th Operations Group

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cynthia Welch salutes Col. Paul Skipworth, commander of the 446th Airlift Wing, after assuming command of the 446th Operations Group March 6, 2021, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cynthia Welch salutes Col. Paul Skipworth, commander of the 446th Airlift Wing, after assuming command of the 446th Operations Group March 6, 2021, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Welch has flown and assisted in commanding C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy squadrons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Sommers)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cynthia Welch, commander of the 446th Operations Group, addresses virtual and physical attendees during her assumption of command March 6, 2021 on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cynthia Welch, commander of the 446th Operations Group, addresses virtual and physical attendees during her assumption of command March 6, 2021 on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. As the Operations Group commander, Welch provides Combatant Commanders worldwide strategic airlift support including aeromedical evacuation and Antarctic resupply operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Sommers)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cynthia Welch assumes command of the 446th Operations Group from Col. Paul Skipworth, commander of the 446th Airlift Wing on March 6, 2021 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cynthia Welch assumes command of the 446th Operations Group from Col. Paul Skipworth, commander of the 446th Airlift Wing on March 6, 2021 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Welch is a seasoned command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours in numerous aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Sommers)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --

The 446th Operations Group welcomed new commander, Lt. Col. Cynthia Welch, in an assumption of command ceremony March 6, 2021, on McChord Field at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

A seasoned command pilot with more than 5,000 flying, Welch was ecstatic to learn she was transferring to McChord, and is excited to be in a position where she can work with the Airmen of the 446th OG directly.

“I am proud to accept command of such a fantastic group and do not plan on going anywhere anytime soon,” said Welch.

A former operations officer at Travis Air Force Base, California, Welch assumed command of the group last November during the heart of a global pandemic, but her ceremony had to be postponed.

“What I didn’t expect when coming up here was how well the entire operations group worked together as a team,” said Welch. “This operations group has a culture of community, a culture of commitment, and a culture of delivering a better tomorrow.”

Welch has been inspired by many to be a better commander and to look at things from different perspectives—and most of that inspiration comes from her parents.

“I have to say a big thank you to my parents,” said Welch. “Dad was an Air Reserve Technician, and he told me that if I wanted to be a pilot I needed to get working on my private pilot’s license and application if I planned on going into the (Air Force) Reserve. With my Mom, working both in the home and for our family business, she showed me how to make things happen; she also suffered through a lot of years of Air Force talk.”

The 446th OG was known as the 446th Bombardment Group flying the B-24 Liberator in World War II and operated chiefly against strategic objectives on the European continent from December 1943 until April 1945. The group has flown channel, special assignment, and humanitarian airlift missions worldwide and taken part in joint and combined training exercises, both within the United States and abroad. Today the 446th OG provides combatant commanders worldwide strategic airlift support including aeromedical evacuation and Antarctic resupply operations. The group consists of three C-17 airlift squadrons, an operational support squadron, and an aeromedical evacuation squadron.