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82nd Training Wing officer receives Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez award

  • Published
  • By Julie Svoboda
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

Maintenance wasn’t the intended career of Capt. Nicholas Schwab, 362nd Training Squadron Director of Operations, when he graduated from the Air Force Academy. But, roughly nine years into his career, he loves it.

“It’s rewarding because generating airpower is pretty fantastic,” he said. “It’s filled with some of the hardest working, most dedicated people that I know. And without us, planes wouldn’t fly.”

Schwab was recognized with the prestigious Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez Award, which recognizes maintainers who have demonstrated the highest level of job performance, knowledge and mission generation.

He received the Air Force level award based on his work in his current position at the 82nd Training wing and for his actions at Duke Field in Florida, where he was an early adopter of the Agile Combat Employment concept.

“I was working with the C-146. It's a tiny little twin propeller transport aircraft that flies everywhere around the world. It's the only fleet of them in the Air Force and we developed the ability to generate that aircraft worldwide from home station. So, we were doing ACE concept mission generation before the Air Force really started transitioning to it. We were able to lay the framework for what that should look like. During our time there, we were able to create a team of maintainers that could operate in very small units.”

Maj. Eric Hopkinson, 362nd TRS Commander, nominated Schwab for the award, citing his previous work and his ability to integrate quickly into the organization and make significant contributions to Air Force priorities.

“Capt. Schwab's achievements exemplify the importance of dedication, innovation, and leadership,” he said. “I am continually impressed with his approach to maintenance and leadership style preserving humility and credibility, which absolutely embodies what maintenance does providing mission assurance. His recognition with the Leo Marquez Award is a testament to his hard work and the significant impact he has made on our operational effectiveness.”

Although Schwab’s focus remains on impacting the future of mission generation, he is grateful for the accolades.

“As much as I'm not one for awards, I do appreciate the honor of being recognized as being exceptional to the level of Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez,” he said. “I mean, he is the father of the aircraft maintenance community, essentially. It’s very meaningful to have people in my leadership chain that recognize something in me that was at a high enough performance level to be worthy of deserving that recognition.”