Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The leader of the U.S. Air Force 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Qatar is Chief Master Dana Capaldi, the unit's first female and first reservist chief.
Capaldi began her six-month assignment as command chief this week, the Air Force announced in a statement on Wednesday.
"It was easy to volunteer for this opportunity," she said. "I've been in the Air Force for over 30 years and deployed multiple times. You never know going in how it will be, but I wasn't apprehensive. Everyone in the wing has been amazing."
The Air Wing is one of the most diverse expeditionary wings in the Air Force, and provides air cover and support from the Middle East to the Horn of Africa.
It operates over 100 aircraft, including the B-1B and B-52 bombers, the P-3C Orion surveillance plane, and KC-135, C-17and C-130 tanker and cargo planes.
"There always has to be a first, and in my case that is being a reservist and a female command chief of the largest expeditionary wing in the world," said Capaldi.
"I never saw me at the table when I first joined the Air Force, but we've grown a lot as a military and continue to grow. The unique experiences of my career allow me to be two firsts in this instance, and what I hope many other Airmen take from this moment is that they have the potential to be at the table in the future," she said.
Capaldi joined the Air Force in 1990, and was deployed numerous times in support of Operations Desert Storm, Deny Flight -- a 1993 NATO mission enforcing a no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina -- Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.