Community leaders inducted as honorary commanders, directors

  • Published
  • By Glen Kernusky
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

Ten honorary commanders and directors from the local community were inducted into the Hanscom Air Force Base team during a ceremony held at the Minuteman Commons here March 2.

The Honorary Commander and Director program pairs military-connected commanders and directors with civic counterparts to foster relationships, collaborate and share ideas, and build rapport between key community members and senior leaders at Hanscom AFB. 

During the ceremony, Col. Taona Enriquez, installation commander, noted the value of having multiple professions and perspectives included in this initiative.  

“This program is a chance for you to share the institutional knowledge you have in your professions with us, and for us to share ours with you,” she said. “This is a chance for all of us to break out of our comfort zones, learn about each other and fill gaps.”

Base leaders recently expanded the installation’s previous honorary commander program to include Hanscom’s civilian directors. Inductees will serve two to three-year terms before moving into an “emeritus” status.

“Our Air Force is a total force, made of both military and civilian members,” said Enriquez. “We work side by side, for and with each other, and this program will continue to build that unity.”

Peter Rice, president and chief executive officer of the Hanscom Federal Credit Union and the 66th Comptroller Squadron honorary commander, said he is most looking forward to finding new ways to support the financial wellness of service members.

“It’s an honor to be here representing our credit union,” he said. “After years of serving those who have served, I’m looking forward to bringing the partnership even closer.” 

Rice will pair up with Maj. Amber Gasparetto-Br√ľning, the 66th Comptroller Squadron commander.

The other honorary commanders/directors and their partners are:

  • Ben Linville-Engler is the acting director of the Mass Cyber Center and chief investment strategist and program executive at the Mass Tech Collaborative. He is paired with Maj. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, the director of the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, and Networks Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. 
  • Carolyn Kirk is the executive director for the Mass Tech Collaborative. She is paired with Steven Wert, director of the Digital Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.
  • Sophia Kambanis is the executive director of the Massachusetts Innovation Network. She is paired with Scott Hardiman, director of the Nuclear, Command, Control and Communications Integration Directorate, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.
  • Chief Kevin Kennedy is police chief for Lincoln, Massachusetts. He is paired with Maj. Brandon Casso, 66th Security Forces Squadron commander.
  • David Pinsonneault is the Department of Public Works director of Lexington, Mass. He is paired with Tom Schluckebier, 66th Air Base Group civil engineer.
  • Dr. Chris Caplice is the executive director for the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. He is paired with Michael Snyder, 66th Logistics Readiness Squadron director.
  • Dr. Gillian McCafferty is an emergency medicine physician at Beth Israel Lahey Hospital. She is paired with Col. Stephen Boglarski, 66th Medical Squadron commander.
  • Dr. Nancy Niemi is president of Framingham State University. She is paired with Maj. Joshua Caragan, 66th Force Support Squadron commander.
  • Dr. Tommaso Melodia is the Electrical and Computer Engineering director for the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University’s College of Engineering. He is paired with Mr. Jared Frey, 66th Communications and Information Division director.