Offutt Air Force Base’s 55th Wing Gets Historic New Leader

Offutt Air Force Base’s 55th Wing has a new leader — the first woman to command the 80-year-old reconnaissance unit.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Col. Kristen Thompson took over command Tuesday, becoming the first woman among the 65 officers who have led the unit since it was established in 1941.

She replaces Col. Gavin Marks, who was the first Black leader of the unit. Marks led the 55th Wing through a tumultuous time that included the early stages of recovery from the March 2019 floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 300 people, including Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, attended the ceremony.