‘Port Dawgs’ in Guam welcome new commander
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - Members of the Air Force Reserve’s 44th Aerial Port Squadron here welcomed a new commander during an assumption of command ceremony June 2.
Lt. Col. Carla Lugo, who is from Flagstaff, Arizona, and has more than 23 years of military experience, took command of the 44th APS, where the Air Force Reserve’s day begins.
“My top priority is to take care of the squadron’s most valuable resource, our people,” said Lugo. “Making sure our Airmen are well trained, ready and resilient ensures they’re prepared to support aerial port operations globally.”
Col. Brian McCullagh, 624th Regional Support Group commander, officiated the assumption of command. He congratulated Lugo during the ceremony and recognized her commitment to Airmen.
“I’m confidence Lt. Col. Lugo will continue to build on the outstanding reputation the 44th APS has built as an aerial port,” said McCullagh. “Her commitment to our Airmen is evident. Ensuring our Reserve Citizen Airmen are taken care of goes hand in hand with mission accomplishment.”
Lugo brings a wide-range of experience to her first command position. She enlisted in the Air Force in 1995 and commissioned in 2000 as an active-duty officer. In 2005 Lugo joined the Air Force Reserve and served six years as a logistics readiness officer with the 44th APS. Her last assignment was with the 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Lugo accumulated extensive transportation and logistics experience, and has completed six deployments supporting multiple operations worldwide.
“We’re excited to have Lt. Col. Lugo back with the 44th APS,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jay Perez, 44th APS quality assurance programs superintendent. “It’s great to see one of our own return with such a wide-range of career experience.”
In Lugo’s civilian status, she was a housing privatization contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton. She now works as a nurse at Flagstaff Medical Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.
“My experience from enlisted to officer, deployments, and various civilian opportunities has provide career diversity that I can share as a commander,” said Lugo. “I’m excited to be back at the 44th APS and leverage my experiences to mentor and lead these outstanding Airmen.”
The 44th APS, a squadron assigned to the 624th RSG, deploys qualified personnel to provide air terminal operations worldwide in support of contingency operations, exercises, unit moves, and foreign humanitarian relief or disaster operations.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Carla Lugo (center right), 44th Aerial Port Squadron commander, with her family, which include her wife, Tricia Topasna (center left) and their children, Sadie Topasna (left) and Asia Topasna (right), after an assumption of command ceremony at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, June 2, 2018, where Lugo became the squadron commander. The 44th APS, a squadron assigned to the 624th Regional Support Group, deploys qualified personnel to provide air terminal operations worldwide in support of contingency operations, exercises, unit moves, and foreign humanitarian relief or disaster operations.
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