PAVE LOW Flight Engineer
February 2, 1963 - April 11, 2007
MSgt Timothy M. Welk, 44, Lancaster, CA, formerly of Strasburg, ND, passed away on April 11, 2007 at his residence.
Tim is survived by his mother: Eugenia Welk, Strasburg, ND; two brothers and one sister-in-law: Allen Welk of Bismarck, ND and Duane and Cindy Welk of Bismarck, ND; one sister: Linda Welk-Smestad of Bismarck, ND; three nieces: Janell Welk and her fiance' Craig Keller, Jessica Welk and her fiance John Lincoln and Kayla Bertsch; three nephews: Adam Welk, Matthew Welk, Kyle Bertsch and one great-grandniece, Ashley Ann Keller; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father in 2006, one sister, Carleen and his maternal and paternal grandparents.
Tim was born February 2, 1963 in Linton, ND, the son of Eugene and Eugenia (Schatz) Welk. He attended and graduated from Emmons Central High School, Strasburg, ND, in 1981. After enlisting in 1982 and graduating basic training and technical school, he spent four years as an armament load crew member on F-111D's at the 524th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Cannon AFB, NM. He was also an armament load crew chief on RF-4C's at the 10th Aircraft Generation Squadron, RAF Alconbury, UK. As an Aircraft Armament System Specialist, Tim's technical expertise directly contributed to a 99.5% weapons release rate in over 7,600 sorties on F-111D's and RF-4C's. He was selected as an "Outstanding Performer" for his efforts during four Maintenance Standardization Evaluation Team visits and NATO Tactical/Operational Readiness Inspections. After retraining as a Helicopter Flight Engineer in 1986, Tim's flying assignments include UH-1Ns at Det 22, 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS), Mountain Home AFB, ID, CH-3Es and HH-3Es at the 38th ARRS, Osan AB, Korea, 31st ARRS, Clark AB, Philippines, CH-53A's, TH-53A's and MH-53J's at the 20th SOS and 16th SOG Standardization and Evaluation at Hurlburt Field, FL.
MSgt Welk was the CV-22 Operations Superintendent, Det 1, 18th Flight Test Squadron, AFSOC, Edwards AFB, CA. He supported the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center and was a member of the CV-22 Integrated Test Team, a multi-service, multi command team responsible for the realistic, objective, and impartial testing of the CV-22 Osprey.
Real-world encounters included Operations DENY FLIGHT, UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, RESTORE HOPE, PROVIDE PROMISE, and other covert operations that are still classified. Tim was hand-selected by Headquarters, AFSOC, Directorate of Standardization and Evaluations for his assignment with Detachment 1, 18 FTS supporting the V-22 Multi-service Operational Test Team in 1997 at NAS Patuxant River, MD and the CV-22 Integrated Test Team at Edwards AFB, CA since 1999. During his tenure as a CV-22 flight engineer, Tim's efforts were essential to successful development of CV-22 Tactics, Techniques and Procedures unique to the tilt-rotor aircraft. Additionally, he was instrumental in authoring all new aircraft flying regulations and operators manuals. He was a member of the first all USAF CV-22 aircrew and flew 344 sorties logging 690 flight hours supporting United States Marine Corps MV-22 Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) and the USAF CV-22 Operational Utility Evaluation (OUE). His contributions culminated with the formation of AFSOC's first CV-22 flying squadron ready to support operations on the Global War on Terrorism. He received numerous awards during his lifetime of service.