Celebrating Women’s History Month with first female B-52 commander in Air Force history
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (KSLA) - As KSLA celebrates Women’s History Month, on March 17, we highlighted a history maker at Barksdale Air Force Base.
In April of 2022, Lieutenant Colonel Vanessa Wilcox emerged as the very first female B-52 commander in Air Force History.
“The 96th Bomb Squadron and all of our bomb squadrons are over 100 years old, and so we stand on giants who have brought us to the point of where we are, still flying this old aircraft,” Wilcox said.
Although the first to shatter this glass ceiling, Wilcox remains humble in acknowledging her status and remembering that the Air Force has come a long way in diversification.
“It is more than just one person. Sure, I hold the title as the first female B-52 Commander, but like I said earlier, I am just a bomb squadron commander,” Wilcox said.
It’s less about being the first and more about continuing the legacy of honoring the past while preparing those who will fill her shoes someday.
“For me, it is more about continuing the culture of family-oriented war fighters that we have today,” Wilcox said.
It’s been almost one year since she took command.
When asked who Wilcox looks up to as a role model, she paid tribute to her peers and other female commanders that she seeks guidance and wisdom from.
“Really, I hope we can get to a point where there aren’t any more firsts, and we are just continuing to lead boldly and take care of those who come after us.”
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