Gift of leadership

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kayla Rorick
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing, Public Affairs

As the base buzzed with preparation for the annual commander’s call holiday luncheon and award ceremony, the 157th Maintenance Group, here, ushered in new leadership before the start of another year.

Maj. Nicolas S. Alcocer took command of the of the 157th Maintenance Operations Flight from outgoing commander, 1st Lt. Melinda A. Fuller, and Lt. Col. Christine L. Banks assumed command of the 157th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron during a combined ceremony here on December 2, 2017.

With a simple and direct exchange of salutes, and symbolic passing of a guidon, these officers took the next steps in their careers.

Prior to being selected for his new role, Alcocer served as a traditional pilot in the 133rd Air Refueling Squadron here. He also operated as part of the instructor and evaluator team while assigned to the Group Standardization and Evaluation office.

“I’ve been very lucky to have been entrusted as an instructor since I arrived here at Pease in the summer of 2014,” said Alcocer. “I’ve been very lucky in my time in the Air Force to have been able to serve in a broad range of jobs that give me a unique perspective.”

Alcocer said he credits past leadership from all branches of the military with preparing him for this command position.

“Each one gave me a unique view of the military, of leadership, and helped shape the kind of commander I hope to be,” he said.

Alcocer said he looks forward to what lies ahead, as the commander of the 157th MOF.

“I am excited for this new endeavor and curious to learn,” he said. “I think I am lucky to inherit such a motivated flight and can’t wait to see where we go together as we prepare for the future of the New Hampshire Air National Guard. I hope to continue building an organization that my own children will be a part of someday.”

Banks served as the Joint Forces Headquarters air executive officer before assuming command of the 157th AMS.

“My assignment at JFHQ started in March of 2015,” said Banks. “As an executive officer, I was able to see how our senior leaders handle a large range of matters. I was given the opportunity to participate at a strategic level of planning that happens within the New Hampshire Air National Guard. The experience gave me a wider perspective on why things happen and how decisions are made and come down to our Airmen.”

As Banks addressed the audience, she expressed her gratitude.

“I am thankful for this opportunity,” she said. “I have noticed how you carry yourselves, the pride and effort you put into all that you do, and I am in awe. I want you to know that my priorities lie with you people. I will work to make sure you have everything you need to continue to succeed and accomplish the mission.”

Banks addressed the future, in regards to the ongoing KC-46 conversion.

“We will face more challenges, but I look forward to finding solutions together,” said Banks. “Leadership is the gift from those that follow and I’m going to do my best to be worthy of that gift. Thank you all!”