- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the general overseeing the American part of the air campaign in Libya. Air Force Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, commander of the 17th Air Force, based in Germany, seems to be an expert in refueling and mobility, which is probably why she was picked for Africa Command, whose planners likely expected the command mainly to be doing humanitarian relief missions. Instead she is overseeing airstrikes by B-2 bombers, F-15E fighter/bombers, and F-16 CJ jammers.
To my knowledge, this is the first time a woman has ever overseen an air campaign.