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NEWS | Aug. 10, 2020

39th Flying Training Squadron welcomes new commander

By Debbie Gildea 340th Flying Training Group Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Thomas Lessner assumed command of the 39th Flying Training Squadron Aug. 6 during a ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, officiated by 340th Flying Training Group Commander Col. Michael J. Vanzo. Relinquishing command was Lt. Col. Kristen Kent, who assumed command of the squadron in 2018.

Formerly the 39th FTS director of operations, Lessner is responsible for the success of the Air Education and Training Command/Air Force Reserve Command Reserve Instructor Pilot Program for the squadron, which trains and provides experienced pilots to augment AETC's instructor pilot force. He is also responsible for more than 90 military and civilian personnel supporting JBSA-Randolph’s undergraduate pilot training mission.

Lessner's new director of operations is Lt. Col. Thad Reddick, who transitioned to the Reserve, and accepted an introduction to fighter fundamentals instructor pilot opportunity with the 39th FTS in 2015.

The 39th FTS is comprised of 93 instructor pilots who fly side-by-side with 12th Flying Training Wing instructor pilots to accomplish the AETC mission. Squadron instructors routinely accomplish more than 6,000 training sorties per year in the T-38, T-6, and T-1 aircraft.  The squadron is one of seven assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group, which is the largest flying group in the Air Force.

Kent, a traditional Reservist, moves to the group headquarters where she will serve as an aviation instruction subject matter expert.