New Wing Commander Named after Colonel Accused of Sexual Misconduct

  • Col. Leslie A. Maher. Air Force photo
    Col. Leslie A. Maher. Air Force photo
  • Col. John Howard gives his first speech as commander during the 3375th Air Mobility Wing change of command ceremony July 24, 2017. Airman Chad Gorecki/Air Force
    Col. John Howard gives his first speech as commander during the 3375th Air Mobility Wing change of command ceremony July 24, 2017. Airman Chad Gorecki/Air Force

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE -- A colonel was named commander of the 375th Air Mobility Wing here Tuesday following the ouster of the previous commander amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Col. Leslie A. Maher will assume command Feb. 20, leading more than 3,100 personnel at Scott Air Force Base, about 25 miles east of St. Louis.

Maher is the current director for the Special Access Program Management Office at the base. A South Dakota native, she first enlisted in the Air Force in 1987. She has a bachelor's degree in Spanish from Wichita State University and a masters in organizational management from George Washington University.

Maher replaces Col. John O. Howard, who was relieved of his command Dec. 11. Howard is under investigation after allegedly committing sexual misconduct.

Lt. Gen. Giovanni Tuck said at the time of the ouster that he had "lost confidence in Howard's leadership and ability to continue serving in command," though Tuck did not explain why.

The Air Force has not released details about the misconduct allegations. Officials said investigation details will not be released "to ensure the integrity of the process," according to a December press release.

The investigation is being conducted by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Howard was temporarily replaced by vice commander Col. W. Chris Buschur.

The 375th Air Mobility Wing provides aeromedical evacuation for patients and operational support airlift, according to the Scott Air Force Base website.

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This article is written by Erin Heffernan from St. Louis Post-Dispatch and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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