History made as new general takes command at Wright-Patterson

Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski took command of the Air Force Materiel Command today in a historic ceremony at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Pawlikowski took command from Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger making this the first time a female four-star general is replaced by another female four-star general at a major command.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, the highest-ranking general in the service branch, presided over the ceremony.

Upon taking command of AFMC, Pawlikowski became the third woman to become a four-star general in Air Force history.

AFMC, headquartered at Wright-Patterson, oversees the development and acquisition of virtually every Air Force weapon system. The command has about 80,000 civilian and military personnel around the world, with more than 13,000 airmen and civilian employees at Wright-Patterson.

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Wolfenbarger, 56, a 1976 graduate of Beavercreek High School and the daughter of an Air Force officer, was in the first class of female cadets at the Air Force academy. She spent most of her 35-year military career in different roles at Wright-Patterson.

Pawlikowski was the first woman to become an officer through the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Air Force ROTC program in 1978. Most recently, she was the military deputy of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition at the Pentagon. Pawlikowski is also a former commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson.

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