Female airman stading to right of text.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Rachel Simones, 178th Wing Public Affairs

Col. Kimberly Fitzgerald, the 178th Wing vice commander, speaks during her promotion ceremony, Oct. 13, 2018, at the Springfield-Beckley Air National Guard Base in Springfield, Ohio. She will become the first female commander of the 178th during a Nov. 4, 2019, change of command ceremony at the base. Fitzgerald is taking over for Col. Gregg Hesterman, who will move on to serve as the director of staff for the Ohio Air National Guard.

Fitzgerald set to become first female commander of 178th Wing

Story by 178th Wing Public Affairs

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (11/01/19)

Col. Kimberly A. Fitzgerald is scheduled to assume duties as commander of the 178th Wing from Col. Gregg J. Hesterman during a Nov. 3 ceremony at the Springfield Air National Guard Base.

The ceremony will mark a historic moment for the wing, as Fitzgerald will be the first female commander.

Fitzgerald is the current vice commander and assists the commander in executing the 178th Wing mission. Her career spans 26 years of service and includes more than 4,000 flight hours as a KC-135 navigator, a KC-135 pilot, MQ-1 Predator pilot and MQ-9 Reaper pilot. In 2011, she transferred to the 178th Wing where she served as the 162nd Flying Squadron commander and the 178th Mission Support Group commander, before taking on her role as vice commander.

“Our Airmen come to work every day and fight on the intelligence battlefields of America’s current wars,” Fitzgerald said. “The 178th has never been as involved in combat or integrated into the Department of Defense Intelligence decision making process as we are right now. I am excited to represent the amazing men and women of this wing and the capabilities that we bring to our nation’s defense, as well as to our state leadership in times of domestic crisis.”

Hesterman leaves the 178th Wing to become the director of staff for the Ohio Air National Guard (OHANG). In this new role, he will be working for the assistant adjutant general for Air to ensure the OHANG’S 5,000 Airmen have what they need to be successful. He will be overseeing and coordinating each of the Air directorates in Ohio, which covers everything from promotions and manning to operations and future missions.

“My time at the 178th has been nothing short of incredible,” Hesterman said. The wing has the most diverse mission set I have ever had the pleasure to command. Additionally, the Airmen are a true testament to the quality of men and women in the Ohio Air National Guard, and it has been an absolute honor to be able to lead and serve with them over the past two years. I look forward to watching Col. Fitzgerald lead the wing and Airmen on to even greater success.”

Official Portrait of Col. Kimberly Fitzgerald.


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