News (USA)

First openly gay commander takes helm at Nat’l Air and Space Intelligence Center

First openly gay commander takes helm at Nat’l Air and Space Intelligence Center

DAYTON, Ohio — The first openly gay commander of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center has taken over the top leadership post of the secretive agency that provides intelligence reports to the White House, Congress and ground troops in combat.

Col. Leah G. Lauderback
Col. Leah G. Lauderback

Stars and Stripes reports that Ohio-native Col. Leah G. Lauderback, 42, became the leader of NASIC at a change of command ceremony last week.

Lauderback will oversee a $350 million budget and about 3,100 military and civilian employees who assess air, space and cyber threats to the Air Force and the nation.

The agency is headquartered at Wright-Patterson, a place familiar to Lauderback, whose parents both worked at base while she was growing up.

“This is very comfortable, very familiar, feels like home already,” she said in brief remarks at the ceremony. “I’m humbled, honored and privileged to command NASIC.”

Lauderback, a 21-year career officer, married her spouse Brenda in Carmel, Calif., about a month ago, and acknowledged her, along with her family and friends at last week’s ceremony.

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