80th APS and 94th SFS welcome new commanders

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Angelita Colón-Francia
  • 94th Airlift Wing
Airmen belonging to the 80th Aerial Port Squadron and the 94th Security Forces Squadron welcomed new commanders last month. In a change of command ceremony Maj. Todd R. Laughman took command of the 80th APS from outgoing commander Lt. Col. John L. Fitter. Assuming command of the 94th SFS was Maj. Kent D. Hansen. Col. Steven Slick, 94th Mission Support Group commander, presided over the joint ceremony. 

Addressing distinguished guests and personnel from the 80th APS, Colonel Slick thanked Colonel Fitter for a “gut-busting job well done” and praised the men and women of the squadron for the tremendous work they have accomplished under Colonel Fitter’s leadership. 

“I appreciate your leadership and the way you took care of your people,” Colonel Slick said to Colonel Fitter. 

Turning his comments to Major Laughman, Colonel Slick said he selected him because of his experience as a mission leader and because he is “hungry and wants to make a difference.” 

Of Major Hansen, Colonel Slick referenced the new commander’s military career start as an Airman before earning a commission. Colonel Slick said the Air Force Reserve always needs quality enlisted and commissioned leaders. “I selected Major Hansen because he makes things happen,” Colonel Slick said. “He is a very good leader.” 

Before relinquishing command of the 80th APS, Colonel Fitter addressed the unit, said farewell, and expressed his gratitude. “It’s been my privilege to serve with you,” said Colonel Fitter. “It’s the apex of my career. Thank you.” 

The new commanders 

Major Laughman is a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate. He entered the active Air Force in 1989. He was assigned to the 446th Missile Squadron in Grand Forks, N.D., where he served as a missile launch officer and flight commander. He earned a master’s degree in American and military history from the University of North Dakota. In 1994, he became an instructor at the Air Force Academy where he taught military history. He became the commandant of cadets at the Air Force Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, Detachment 390 at the University of Michigan in 1995. In 1998, he was selected to serve as the deputy site commander of the Votkinsk Portal Monitoring Facility in Votkinsk, Russia, for the Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. 

Major Laughman began his Air Force Reserve career in October 2000, as an academy liaison officer for the 9001st Recruiting Squadron in Chicago, Ill. Most recently, he served as operations officer for the 27th Aerial Port Squadron at Minneapolis-St. Paul Air Reserve Station in Minnesota. 

Speaking to the members of the 80th APS, Major Laughman said, “Today is the proudest day of my Air Force career. As we move forward together we should always remember the mission. We have to train and be ready to deploy. We must keep up the tradition of serving. We owe it to those who will never deploy again and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.” 

Major Hansen entered the active Air Force in 1983. He trained as a cryptologist linguist at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif. He served with the 3415th Air Base Group and the 3320th Correctional and Rehabilitation Squadron at Lowery Air Force Base, Colo.; and with the 410th Bomb Wing at K.I. Sawyer AFB, Mich. 

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1991. He received a commission in 1992 while serving in the Air Force Reserve with the 440th Airlift Wing in Milwaukee. For his first assignment as a commissioned officer, he served as customer service branch chief for the 440th AWs consolidated base personnel office. In 1994 he became operations officer for the 440th Security Forces Squadron. He took command of the 440th SFS in 2001, a position he held until accepting command of the 94th SFS. 

Addressing members of his new squadron, Major Hansen praised the unit and said he was proud to be their commander. He spoke highly of the unit’s illustrious history and asked each member to be proud of what they do. He ended his comments by saying, “I am honored and dedicated to serve with you.”