Thursday, December 2, 2021

Air Force general is second woman to lead a top US command

WASHINGTON (AP) – Air Force General Jacqueline van Ovost on Friday became the second woman to head one of the Pentagon’s 11 so-called combat commands, the multi-services organization that leads US military operations around the world.

At a change-of-command ceremony at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin lauded Van Ovost’s historic rise, calling him a “legend of a leader”, a pilot by training and a key player in the TENS airlift. said. Thousands of people were evacuated from Kabul in August. He helped organize the airlift as commander of the Air Force Air Mobility Command.

“We need every Jackie Van Ovost we can get,” said Austin, a retired Army general. “As she likes to say, ‘As young women looking up, it’s hard to be what you can’t see.’ So General van Ovost knows the importance of breaking down barriers.”

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The Transportation Command is in charge of all aspects of global transportation for the military, including the movement of cargo and personnel by land, sea and air. Its 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland operates aircraft for official VIP travel, including Air Force One for the President.

Van Ovost, a 1988 graduate of the Air Force Academy and former deputy director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, took over the transportation command for Army General Stephen Lyon, who is retiring. The only other woman to lead the US Combat Command is Army General Lori Robinson, now retired, who took charge of US Northern Command in 2016. Army General Laura Richardson will take over US Southern Command on October 29, replacing the Navy. Adam Craig Fowler.

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