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Leading Ladies of Goodfellow

Norma Brown

Norma Brown

Col. Merrily Madero (Official U.S. Air Force Photo)

Col. Merrily Madero (Official U.S. Air Force Photo)

Col. Lori Robinson (Official U.S. Air Force Photo)

Col. Lori Robinson (Official U.S. Air Force Photo)

Brig. Gen. K.C. McClain (Official U.S. Air Force Photo)

Brig. Gen. K.C. McClain (Official U.S. Air Force Photo)

Brig. Gen. Toreaser Steele (Official U.S. Air Force Photo)

Brig. Gen. Toreaser Steele (Official U.S. Air Force Photo)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Four women have commanded the host wing on Goodfellow. The first was Col. Norma Brown, who became the first woman to command an Air Force wing when she took charge of the 6940th Security Wing on Goodfellow in 1974. Gen. Brown subsequently retired as a major general in 1982.

Next was Col. Toreaser Steele, who became the second woman and the first African American to command the host unit on Goodfellow when she assumed command of the 17th Training Wing in 1998. Departing Goodfellow in 2000, she later served as commander of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service before retiring as a Brigadier General in
2005.

Replacing Col. Steele as commander of the 17th Training Wing was Col. K. C. McClain, who served at Goodfellow from 2000 to 2002. Promoted to Brigadier General in 2004, Gen. McClain served as commander of the Joint Task Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response before assuming her present duty as Director of Force Management Policy at the Pentagon.

Goodfellow's fourth woman wing commander was Col. Lori Robinson, who arrived on station in 2004 and departed one year later. Col. Robinson recently was selected to command the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker AFB, Okla. In this assignment she will become the first woman to command an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) wing.

While four women have served as wing commander on Goodfellow, none has served as vice commander. That soon will change when Col. Merrily Madero replaces Col. Andrew Britschgi as wing vice commander on April 4. Currently, Col. Madero commands the 50th Mission Support Group at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.