Georgia Air National Guard taps first female to lead air wing

Julia LeDoux
January 08, 2020 - 4:09 pm

Georgia Air National Guard

The Georgia Air National Guard will welcome its first female wing commander on Jan. 12.

Col. Amy Holbeck will take the reins of the 116th Air Control Wing from Col. Ato Crumbly during a change-of-command ceremony at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia.

“One of my top priorities is to focus on strengthening lines of communication both up and down the chain of command,” said Holbeck in a release.  “We are in the beginning stages of an exciting time in our wing’s history with new missions on the horizon, while continuing to provide top-notch command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities around the world with our Joint STARS aircraft.”

In her new role, Holbeck, a native of Cleveland, Tennessee, will lead more than 1,450 Airmen. She attributes her success to the support of her family and the mentorship of those she has served with.

“My dad always told me to take full advantage of every opportunity and to always do the best job you can at the job you are doing,” Holbeck said. “I have taken that advice with me throughout my career, and thank God daily for the opportunities, people and mentors he has put in my life to get me to this point.”

She added she never set out to become the Georgia Air National Guard’s first wing commander.

 “I have never seen gender as being a hindrance in my career,” she said. “I believe anyone — regardless of gender, race or religion — can excel and propel themselves anywhere they want to go if they have a solid work ethic and positive attitude.”

The Tennessee Technological University graduate began her Air Force career in 1997, enlisting on active duty as a guidance and control systems specialist stationed at the 357th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

 After commissioning as an officer in 2000, Holbeck was stationed at Robins Air Force Base. as an air battle manager on the E-8C Joint STARS aircraft with the 93rd Air Control Wing.  She transitioned from active duty in 2008 to the 116th ACW as an Air National Guardsman.  She was appointed as the vice wing commander in September 2019.

Team JSTARS was established on Oct. 1, 2002, and is comprised of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th ACW, the Air Combat Command’s 461st ACW, and the active-duty Army Intelligence and Security Command’s 138th Military Intelligence Company.

They were the first: How these military women smashed glass ceilings

Leaders are not born, they are developed, retired Army general says in new book

PHOTO GALLERY: Introducing the first female Marine F-35B pilot

Reach Julia LeDoux:

Want to get more connected to the great stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.