514th Air Mobility Wing Chapel Office Welcomes Two Newcomers

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Stephen J. Caruso
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing

The 514th Air Mobility Wing chaplain staff recently gained two new Reserve officers, Capt. Alexandra C. King and Maj. Louis A. Mattina, both transitioning from positions as Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) chaplains.

Chaplain King, an ordained Lutheran minister, officially joined the unit in late 2019, while Chaplain Mattina, a Roman Catholic priest, came on board in January.

Though their paths into the Air Force were quite different, both King and Mattina are looking forward to the opportunity to provide pastoral care for the Airmen and members of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst community.

King brings many years of Air Force experience, having enlisted in the Air Force in 1993 via the Delayed Entry Program and serving as an information manager. In 1996, King won the Scholarship for Outstanding Airmen through ROTC (SOAR) and attended Indiana University, commissioning in 2005 as a logistics plans officer.

It was during a deployment early in her career that King initially felt a call to the ministry.

“Someone I knew needed help,” said King. “They seemed like they would harm themselves or someone else. So I stayed with that person until the next morning to make sure they could get the help they needed. That was my ministry of presence and I felt called to chaplaincy during that time.”

King, whose husband is also in the Air Force, transitioned to the Air Force Reserve so she could pursue seminary studies. She attended Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va., completing a Masters in Divinity in 2009 and resigning her commission to pursue reappointment as an Air Force Reserve Chaplain after her ordination.

In 2015, King was ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and served as a visitation pastor. She accepted an appointment to the Air Force Reserve Chaplain Corps that same year and was assigned as an IMA at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Ala.

King describes ministry of presence as walking alongside people during all seasons in their life, and just being there for fellow Airmen.

While King discovered her vocation to ministry as she came up through the enlisted and officer ranks, Chaplain Mattina had been active in ministry long before hearing the call to serve in the Air Force. Mattina attended Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., and was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Metuchen, N.J., in 1995. By the time he decided to join the Air Force in 2010 as a Roman Catholic chaplain, Father Mattina had 15 years of experience in priestly ministry.

A native of New Jersey, Mattina decided to join the Air Force Reserve at the encouragement of a friend, who happened to be a Catholic chaplain in the New Jersey Air National Guard.

After attending Commissioned Officer Training (COT) in 2011 and the Basic Chaplain Course in 2012, Mattina served as an IMA chaplain with the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Given the high need for Catholic chaplains across the Air Force, he has gotten plenty of active duty experience. Since 2013, Mattina has served active duty tours at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Hurlburt Field, Fla., and Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

As a priest in the Diocese of Metuchen, Chaplain Mattina currently serves at Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church in Middlesex, N.J. He brings decades of pastoral experience, a warm smile, and a love of sports, especially hockey, to the 514th. He is fluent in Spanish, having done missionary work in Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Peru and Costa Rica.

King and Mattina are both eager to serve the members of the 514th Air Mobility Wing and say they look forward to visiting the squadrons and presiding at chapel services.

514th Air Mobility Wing members are encouraged to reach out to the chaplain's office at any time, both during the UTA and outside of normal duty periods. Conversations with chaplain staff are privileged communications.

For information on the 514th Air Mobility Wing chaplain services, reach out directly to Master Sgt. Donald A. Ramos, religious affairs superintendent, at (954) 366-9274 (mobile) or via email at sergeant.ramos5@gmail.com.

To speak directly with a 514th Air Mobility Wing reserve chaplain, unit members may contact King at (609) 379-2254 (mobile) or revalexis11@gmail.com and Mattina at (609) 200-6426 (mobile) and louis.mattina@gmail.com.