WASHINGTON — Air Force Lt. Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger would become the highest-ranking woman officer ever to serve in the Air Force if a nomination forwarded Monday by President Barack Obama is approved by the Senate.
Wolfenbarger would lead Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and become the first female four-star general in the Air Force. The command focuses on development and sustainment of weapons systems. With a yearly budget of $60 billion, it’s the largest Air Force command in terms of funding.
Wolfenbarger now serves as military deputy to the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisitions. Before her current assignment at the Pentagon, she was vice commander at Air Force Material Command, according to her official Air Force biography. She previously held other positions in the command, including director of the Intelligence and Requirements Directorate. Before that, she directed programs and offices connected with the C-17 transport plane, the B-2 bomber and the F-22 fighter.
She is a 1980 graduate of the Air Force Academy and later earned a master’s degree at National Defense University.
According to the Pentagon, Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody, commander of Army Materiel Command, became the U.S. Army’s first four-star general in 2008.
Pentagon officials praised Obama’s selection.
“The secretary strongly supports the president’s nomination, and he believes that General Wolfenbarger is an outstanding Air Force officer,” Pentagon press secretary George Little told American Forces Press Service. “The fact that she would be the first woman to wear a fourth star in the Air Force, if confirmed, is a testament to her skills, experience and dedication.”