111th ATKW welcomes its first female commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Timi Jones
  • Pennsylvania Air National Guard

For the first time in its 80-year history, the 111th Attack Wing welcomed a female commander, Col. Lynn M. Lee.
Lee assumed command of the 111ATKW from Col. Deane Thomey during a ceremony here on September 9, 2023.

“It’s bittersweet to leave because this is the best job I’ve ever had in my life,” said Thomey. “The thing that eases it is knowing the person coming after me is only going to make this Wing better. She is a phenomenal leader, she has great vision, and she’s going to do great things.”

Lee has had an extensive and remarkable military career spanning over 20 years. She came to Biddle Air National Guard Base in March 2023, originally serving as the commander of the 111th Operations Group.

Prior to joining the 111th OG, Lee was the Command Center director at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she maintained watch on the no-fail Homeland Defense mission. She has over 900 combat hours as an RC-26 pilot for U.S. Special Operations Command, having deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and OPERATION NEW DAWN.

As Wing Commander, Lee will supervise the Wing and its subordinate units which include the 111th Operations Group, the 111th Medical Group, the 111th Mission Support Group, and the 201st Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers (RED HORSE) Detachment 1. In total, Col. Lee will command more than 900 mission-ready Airmen in executing the Wing’s mission of supporting multi-domain global operations, safeguarding the homeland, and supporting Pennsylvania communities by building partnerships with local civil authorities.

“I am very honored and humbled to be here. It’s not something I take lightly,” said Lee. “I want to bring some stability to the unit. The unit has been through so much and I want to serve you all the best I possibly can. I believe this Wing has an incredibly bright future and I am honored to be a part of it.”

With Col. Rebecca Gray currently serving as the vice commander of the 111ATKW, this is the first dual female leadership team in the State – and is truly a historic moment for the 111th ATKW.