Air and Space intelligence center gets new commander

A military intelligence agency that provides highly sought after intelligence analysis from the White House to ground troops in Afghanistan will get a new leader.

Air Force Col. Leah Lauderback, the commander of the 67th Cyberspace Operations Group at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, will take command of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center later this year at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The intelligence agency monitors air, space and cyber threats to national security. NASIC has about 3,000 military and civilian personnel and a budget of more than $330 million.

Lauderback said in a statement she was “incredibly excited about the opportunity to lead and work with such a tremendous group of people. I grew up in Dayton as my father worked at the Foreign Technology Division for many years, so it feels like coming home.”

The Foreign Technology Division was a predecessor to NASIC.

Lauderback oversees more than 250 airmen at five locations worldwide at the cyber operations group in Texas.

She will replace Col. Aaron Prupas, who became commander of NASIC for two years in May 2012. Prupas, a 1990 Air Force Academy graduate, has had assignments and deployments around the world, including Afghanistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Italy and Germany.

Lauderback graduated from Clemson University in 1993. She has three master’s degrees.

She was the commander of the 450th Intelligence Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and oversaw airmen involved in intelligence missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, according to her biography. The colonel also was an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., near Las Vegas.

Prupas said the intelligence agency works in partnership with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Air Force Institute of Technology, all based at Wright-Patterson.

“NASIC’s unique position here in the Miami Valley didn’t just happen out of a coincidence,” he said.

Prupas was commander of the Air Force Technical Applications Center at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., prior to becoming the military commander at NASIC. His next assignment has not been announced, said James Lunsford, NASIC spokesman.

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