Ch, Lt Col William B. Nelson CA ANG
Wing Chaplain, 146th Airlift Wing, Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Port Hueneme, CA
Phone: (805) 986-7481
Office Location: Bldg 19
Chaplain Nelson was raised in an Air force family; his father was an Active Duty pilot. Ch Nelson was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve in July 1993. He served at March Air Force Base in Riverside from 1993 to 1996. Then he learned that the 146th Airlift Wing in Port Hueneme was looking for a chaplain, so he applied and was hired there. This was much better for his family since it was closer, allowing him to be at home in the evenings on military drill weekends. The Wing Chaplain was being discharged for medical reasons, so Ch Nelson became the Wing Chaplain, even though he was a junior officer. In time he was promoted to Captain, then Major, and finally Lieutenant Colonel. He supervises a staff of 3 other Chaplains and 3 Chaplain Assistants--enlisted support personnel. The weapon system of the 146th AW is the C-130, a transport or cargo plane. It has been dubbed "the war horse of the Air force." They used to fly the old E models from the 60's but in the last several years they replaced the Es with brand new J models. The new planes are longer (they got the "stretch" version), much more powerful, and have new systems for navigation, obviating the need for a navigator. The Air National Guard is a Reserve component of the Air Force, requiring 1 weekend a month of Inactive Duty Training on Unit Training Assembly weekends, and 15 days a year of Active Duty (Annual Tour). Ch Nelson does most of his Annual Tour days in the summer when Westmont is not in session. On July 29, 2013 he completed 20 years of military service which means he is now eligible to retire. However, he plans to stay in at least 2 more years.