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Lieutenant Colonel ELLEN CANUP

Lt Col Ellen M. G. Canup is the Commander, 4th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. In this capacity, Lieutenant Colonel Canup leads over 150 assigned personnel and is responsible for their morale, discipline, training, development and welfare. Further, she is responsible for the 4th Airlift Squadron’s effective mission execution, readiness and resource management to provide successful airlift operations in the globally capable C-17A Globemaster III. The squadron is tasked by Air Mobility Command to safely, securely, and reliably airlift nuclear weapons and nuclear-related cargo in support of the Department of Defense’s nuclear enterprise.

Lt Col Canup graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2006. She has held numerous positions including operations officer, deputy chief of wing plans, wing executive officer, training officer, and tactics officer. She has deployed three times in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, and other overseas contingency operations. Prior to her current assignment, she served as the East Africa Regional Director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she was a lead policy advisor on DoD engagement and programming throughout East Africa. 

Lt Col Canup is a Senior Pilot and C-17A Globemaster III instructor pilot with more than 3000 hours, including 700 combat hours.

2005 French Air Force Academy: L'Ecole de L'Air, Salon De Provence
2006 Bachelors Science in Systems Engineering, Astronautics; French Minor, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
2006 Air and Space Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama
2011 Masters of Science in Systems Engineering Space Systems, Air Force Institute of Technology
2013 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama
2016 Masters of Arts in National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
2020 Leadership Development Course, Maxwell AFB, online attendance

1. August 2006 – November 2007, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
2. May 2008 – November 2011, Pilot, 21st Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, California
3. January 2012 – May 2015, C-17 Instructor Pilot, Dover AFB, Delaware
4. June 2015 – September 2016, Graduate Student, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
5. October 2016 – June 2019, East Africa Regional Director, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon, Virginia
6. September 2019 – February 2021, Director of Operations, 7AS, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
7. March 2021 – Present, C-17A Instructor Pilot, Commander, 4th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

October 2016 – June 2019, East Africa Regional Director, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon, Virginia

Rating: Senior Pilot
Flight hours: 3000
Aircraft flown: C-17A, T-1, and T-6

Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal

Second Lieutenant May 31, 2006 First Lieutenant May 31, 2008 Captain May 31, 2010
Major May 1, 2016
Lieutenant Colonel October 1, 2019

(Current as of March 2021)