BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – History will be made Thursday afternoon on Barksdale Air Force Base after the change of command ceremony for the 96th Bomb Squadron.

The first-ever female B-52 squadron commander will be sworn into the 96th during the change of command ceremony taking place at 1:36 p.m., according to the public affairs office. Lt. Col. Vanessa “Lana” Wilcox will be taking over the 96th from Lt. Col. Christopher “Gov’na” Duff.

Wilcox previously served as the Deputy Commander for the 2nd Mission Support Group on the installation and is a former B-52 radar navigator. 

“Lt. Col. Wilcox now stands at the forefront of the nation’s premier long-range strike bomber and is poised to lead the Red Devils into the future,” Col. Matthew McDaniel, 2nd Operations Group Commander said.  “She’s a pathfinder, a role model, a warrior, and the perfect leader to inspire the next generation of lethal warfighters.”

In 1918, the 96th was founded as the 96th Aero Squadron. Today the men and women of the 96th known as the Red Devils maintain the heritage of “First to Bomb” and provide worldwide combat capability with the force of B-52 aircraft, aircrews, and operation personnel supporting.