Air Force Col. Patricia A. Csànk has taken command of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, becoming the first woman ever to do so, in a ceremony on base Friday.

Leadership of JBER’s 673d Air Base Wing was formally transferred from Col. George Dietrich to Csànk, during an event on base which began at 10 a.m. Alaskan Command head Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach received a flag from Dietrich, which he then handed to Csànk to symbolically mark the change of command.

 
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Dietrich, who will become Special Operations Command’s director of logistics at Fort Bragg, N.C., said he was grateful for the three years he’s spent as base commander.

"Serving with you and all our mission partners inside the fence and outside the fence has been the greatest privilege of my life,” he said.

Csànk, who had commanded JBER’s 673d and 773d Logistics Readiness Squadrons as a lieutenant colonel during a previous deployment, said she was glad to be surrounded by friends and colleagues as she, her husband Tibor and their son Aidan return to Alaska.

“I look forward to working with you all and I’m honored to be your commander,” she said.

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