47th Civil Engineer Squadron welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Keira Rossman
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

47th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) Airmen bid farewell to Lt. Col. John Casey, prior commander of the 47th CES, and welcomed Lt. Col. Nathan Thomsen, current commander of the 47th CES, during a change of command ceremony here, June 21, 2024. 

Col. Robert Moore, 47th Mission Support Group (MSG) commander, presided over the ceremony, noting the pivotal role the 47th CES plays as one of five squadrons under the 47th MSG which provides mission support to 28 units and over 5,700 personnel at Laughlin. 

“Laughlins’ ‘Roadrunners’ make up one of the most mission capable civil engineer squadrons in Air Education and Training Command,” said Moore. “The level of commitment to the mission and sheer volume of work belonging to the members of this squadron each and every day is absolutely astounding. They ensure Laughlin’s transformation is constant and vigilant. The ‘Roadrunners’ continue to crush the antiquated outdated infrastructure one facility at a time and will modernize this installation to elevate the production of the world’s greatest pilots and combat-ready Airmen.” 

Thomsen comes to Laughlin AFB from Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, where he served as the 788th CES commander since May 2022. As the commander of the 47th CES, he is now responsible for the comprehensive planning, construction, maintenance, repair, acquisition and protecting from fire and disaster of 808 facilities and infrastructure assets across 5,343 acres valued at $223 million. 

“I want to give a special thanks to Col. Moore and Col. Davidson for putting their trust in me to lead such an amazing team. I can happily say that leading a squadron is the best job in the Air Force; thank you for this opportunity,” said Thomsen. “I also want to acknowledge and thank all the team across the 47th MSG and the 47th FTW, it’s been great to meet some of you this week and I look forward to working with all of you.” 

The 47th CES is the lead agency for Laughlin AFB’s civil engineer functions: Installation Management; Operations; Engineering; Fire and Emergency Services; and Emergency Management programs. The Squadron generates trained and equipped expeditionary Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force for worldwide deployments. 

“I can’t wait to join in this ‘Roadrunners’ team at the 47th CES and all the great things you are accomplishing,” said Thomsen. “It is my honor to serve with you, to join your team, to work alongside you and continue the awesome mission of building, maintaining, and protecting Laughlin AFB so that we can train the best pilots and airmen in the world’s finest Air Force; and in so doing to defend America, the country we are so blessed to be a part of.” 

Casey, who will be assuming command as the commander for the 820th RED HORSE Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, served as commander of 47th CES since June 2022. 

“To the ‘Roadrunners,’ you have made me proud to be your commander,” said Casey. “You refused to accept the ‘Laughlin status quo’ and saw what Laughlin could be. I’m looking forward to seeing what you will accomplish next.”