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Brig. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward has been named the next commander of 17th Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Africa, a command with headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the Defense Department announced late last week.

Woodward, the vice commander of 18th Air Force, Air Mobility Command, at Scott Air Base, Ill., is poised to become only the second commander of 17th Air Force since the command was reactivated at Ramstein in October 2008 as the air component of U.S. Africa Command.

Woodward will replace Maj. Gen. Ronald R. "Ron" Ladnier, who will be retiring, according to 17th Air Force officials.

No date has been set yet for the change-of-command ceremony.

More than 300 airmen are assigned to 17th Air Force. The unit is responsible for all Air Force activities in the Africa theater, spanning 53 countries and more than 900 million people, according to the 17th Air Force Web site.

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