Meet Laughlin’s Leaders & Performers

Colonel Charlie Velino

Commander, 47th Flying Training Wing

Major David Brandt

Open House Director

Colonel Charles M. Velino is the Commander, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. He leads a wing consisting of more than 2,800 personnel conducting joint specialized undergraduate pilot training for U.S. Air Force and allied officers. He oversees 216 training aircraft consisting of the T-1A, T-6A and T-38C and leads a flying operation that exceeds 68,000 flying hours and 46,600 sorties per year.

Col Velino entered the Air Force through OTS in March of 1995 and following Basic Computer Officer School was assigned duties in systems management and software engineering. In 1998, he was selected to attend pilot training and completed UPT in April of 1999.
Col Velino transitioned to the C-17 and has filled multiple squadron, group and wing positions as well as deployed to Rhein Mein AB, Germany, Al Udeid AB, Qatar, and Karshi Khanabad AB, Uzbekistan supporting operations in the Middle East. He’s been a Wing Chief of Safety twice, and has commanded an operational flying squadron and group. Col Velino has also served in a variety of staff duties at both the 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center and U.S. Transportation Command, culminating as the Chief of TRANSCOM’s Commander’s Action Group (CAG). In this capacity he reported directly to and provided immediate and primary support to the TRANSCOM Commander.
 Major David J. Brandt is the Wing Open House Director, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, Texas.  He is responsible for the planning and execution of the “2018 Fiesta of Flight Open House & Air Show,” featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and numerous other air and ground displays. The Open House is an exciting event that brings together both Laughlin AFB and the city of Del Rio.  

Major David J. Brandt earned his commission in 2004 following graduation from the United States Air Force Academy. After attending pilot training at Laughlin AFB and NAS Corpus Christi, he was assigned to Hurlburt Field to fly the AC-130U gunship. In almost ten years of flying the gunship, Major Brandt accrued over 2,700 hours, including almost 1,500 combat hours over ten operational deployments. He has held multiple squadron, group, and wing level positions and earned numerous monthly, quarterly, and annual awards.

Major Brandt was recently appointed Director of the 2018 Laughlin Air Force Base Open House, and is currently an instructor pilot with more than 500 hours in the T-6A.