Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s new reserve airlift wing commander is an Oregon native who’s back in the Northwest for the first time since he graduated from college almost 30 years ago.
Col. Scott McLaughlin formally took command of the 446th Airlift Wing at a ceremony Saturday. He succeeds Col. Bruce Bowers, who retired in August after leading the wing since June 2011.
McLaughlin has been at JBLM since last month. The Air Force waited for last weekend’s Reserve drills to announce his appointment.
McLaughlin most recently served as the operations group commander for the 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base in California. The 349th flies C-5 Galaxy, KC-10 Extender and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
At McChord Air Field, McLaughlin now leads a wing with 2,100 reserve airmen who work with the active-duty 62nd Airlift Wing to fly C-17 jets supporting military operations around the world.
McLaughlin grew up in Oregon and graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland in 1985.
“I forgot how beautiful it is here, and how nice the people are. I really feel like I'm back home,” he said in a news release about his appointment.