By Associated Press - Sunday, November 3, 2019

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) - The 178th Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard has its first female commander.

Col. Kimberly Fitzgerald assumed the 178th Wing’s command from Col. Gregg Hesterman during a ceremony Sunday at the Springfield-Beckley Air National Guard Base in Springfield.

Fitzgerald previously served as the 178th Wing’s vice commander. She has 26 years of service including more than 4,000 flight hours as a KC-135 navigator, a KC-135 pilot, MQ-1 Predator pilot, and MQ-9 Reaper pilot. She transferred to the 178th Wing in 2011 and served in other positions before becoming vice commander.

Fitzgerald said in a statement Sunday that she’s “excited that all the women that are in this wing can see that they have a path.”

Hesterman will serve as the director of staff at the Ohio National Guard.

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