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Laughlin welcomes new 47th Medical Group commander

Col. Andrew Cruz, 47th Medical Group commander, accepts the guidon at the MDG change of command ceremony at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, June 26, 2018. This trading of the guidon was led by Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flyin Training Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marco A. Gomez)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—The 47th Medical Group welcomed its new commander, Col. Andrew Cruz, June 26, 2018, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.

Cruz assumed command from his predecessor, Col. Thatcher Cardon, in a ceremony that marked the transition of command with the age-old tradition of passing the guidon. The trading of the guidon was led by Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander.

“I’m excited for the Cruz family and the amazing journey they’re about to undertake,” Velino said. “He’s consistently been praised and recognized along the way for his passion, dedication, leadership and initiative.”

Cruz said he’s undertaking many roles to help bring further success, not only to the 47th MDG, but to Laughlin and Del Rio, Texas, as well.

“To the XL medics, I am humbled and honored to join your team. I look forward to leading top-notch medics and providing trusted and safe medical care,” said Cruz. “I’m committed to strengthening relationships on and off base, especially with the city of Del Rio and the surrounding communities.”

Cruz was formerly the chief of Air Force Advocacy at the Air Force Medical Operations Agency.