Offutt Air Force Base welcomes new commander

Photo: Getty Images

(Bellevue, NE) -- Offutt Air Force Base's 55th wing has a new commander.

Col. Kristen Thompson took over command of the Fightin’ 55th from Col. Gavin Marks during a military ceremony Tuesday at Offutt Parade Field. The 55th wing, the largest in Air Combat Command and the second largest in the United States Air Force, has never been lead by a woman in its history.

“The 55th Wing is gaining a world-class leader and commander today,” said Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, 16th Air Force commander, who presided over the ceremony. “I look forward to (Kristen’s) leadership as she takes command, and I can’t wait to watch the incredible airmen of the 55th Wing as you continue to advance the future of war-fighting within the Air Force and the Joint Force.”

Thompson, who has a 20-year career in the military, arrived at Offutt from the Al Dhafra Air Force Base in United Arab Emirates. Her service includes time in the Pentagon as military assistant to the undersecretary of defense for policy, and command of the 96th Air Control Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. "To the men and women of the Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth, I’m so excited for this new challenge,” Thompson said. “If you know me, you know I’m big on relationships and it’s how I lead and how I plan to do business.”

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