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Brig. Gen. Wendy Johnson became the first woman to lead the Nebraska Air National Guard when she assumed command at weekend ceremonies at National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Lincoln.

Johnson, a native of Elba, has made history before as the first female member of the Nebraska Air National Guard to achieve the rank of general officer.

Johnson's Air Guard career began when she enlisted in 1984 as an administrative clerk with the 155th Combat Support Squadron in Lincoln. She has held a variety of leadership positions and is a veteran of multiple overseas deployments, including an assignment to the U.S. Central Command.

Her gender-breaking rise within the Nebraska Air National Guard is "really just another example of the evolution of the organization that's been going on for some time," Johnson said.

Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska adjutant general, said Johnson's prior leadership has helped make the Air Guard "a full-fledged partner in the emergency operations environment."

Johnson will hold the position of assistant adjutant general for air as well as commander of the Nebraska Air National Guard, succeeding Brig. Gen. James "Bob" Stevenson, who is moving to the U.S. Strategic Command headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue.

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Stevenson, who had headed the Air National Guard since December after commanding the 155th Air Refueling Wing, will be deputy director of operations for joint electromagnetic spectrum operations at Offutt and the mobilization assistant to the director of operations.

In May, Chief Warrant Officer Teresa Domeier was named the first female Army National Guard command chief warrant officer.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSDon.


Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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