Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The new face of war: A female general commands the U.S. air campaign

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 ...

af.mil
af.mil

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.

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.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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