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New group commander likens role to mayor

By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez

SOUTHWEST ASIA (July 09, 2004) -- Colonel Lyndon S. Anderson assumed command of the 379th Expeditionary Mission Support Group from Colonel Neil E. Rader, in a ceremony here July 2.

For his next assignment Col. Rader will serve as chief of the Anti-terrorism and Force Protection Division, Joint Security Directorate at Headquarters U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

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Colonel Anderson formerly led the Directorate for Operational Plans and Joint Force Development at the Pentagon. Colonel Anderson will serve a one-year tour as commander of the 379th EMSG. The group is responsible for force protection, construction and facility maintenance, contracting and contractors, telephone and computer networks as well as radio communications, personnel, services, fuels, and transportation.

“We touch a little bit of everything,” Colonel Anderson said of the support group. “I like to think of what I do in terms of being the mayor of a little city.” According to Colonel Anderson, one of the challenges he faces as the new “mayor” is getting so many different Airmen from so many locations around the force to work together.

“Our biggest challenge is integrating the vast number of experts we get from throughout the Air Force into a cohesive organization that can best support the mission,” he said.

The colonel pointed out that even within one deployed flight, individuals might not know each other. “We don’t get entire squadrons here,” he said. “Gelling those people together and pointing them all in one direction, that is the challenge.”

A native of Fla., Colonel Anderson enlisted in the Air Force in March 1981 and was assigned to F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., as a missile systems analyst for the Minuteman III nuclear weapon system. He earned a commission through Officer Training School in March 1985.

His first assignment as an officer was at the 7th Bombardment Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. There, he held multiple flight-level command positions within the 7th Organizational Maintenance Squadron. Colonel Anderson’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

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