Col. Laura Lenderman, who took command of the 375th Air Mobility Wing at Scott Air Force Base in mid-2015, will hand over the reins during a change-of-command ceremony Monday.
Lenderman has been an outstanding steward, leading more than 2,900 personnel at one of our region’s most vital assets. We wouldn’t have expected anything less from someone who spent part of her childhood at Scott, the third-oldest Air Force Base. Her father, Col. Gordon Cook, served at Scott in the early 1980s.
“It didn’t really dawn on me what my dad did every day when he went to work in Building 1600, but in my 12-year-old mind I knew that this is a great life, that the Air Force is a special organization, and that I wanted to be a part of this Service when I grew up,” Lenderman told the Air Force news service in 2015. “From that moment forward, my focus was on going into the Air Force, serving my country, and building the kind of life my father had created with our family.”
Lenderman has said that the best part of her two-year command at Scott has been “working with the incredibly talented and inspiring airmen, mission partners, family members and community leaders.”
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That has been evident during Scott’s centennial celebration. Lenderman has served as the face of the celebration, which saw a return of the popular air show and helped reinforce the community’s ties with the base. Community leaders have praised Lenderman for her involvement and her outreach efforts. We’re sure that her replacement, Col. John O. Howard, will continue that effort.
As commander of the 375th Air Mobility Wing, Lenderman has been in charge of assets exceeding more than $4 billion and an annual budget of more than $130 million.
Lenderman, in a recent Facebook post, said her final flight at Scott was bittersweet, because it marks the end of an era in her career.
“Thank you for your selfless service and sacrifices and for all you do to accomplish our mission and lift up our wing, our base, and our community,” she wrote. “Together we lift!”
Lenderman will remain at Scott as the deputy director for strategy, capabilities, policy and logistics at U.S. Transportation Command. We hope that she continues to lift Scott and the community in her new role.