102nd Intelligence Wing welcomes new commander
By Lt. Col. Robert Spierdowis, 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 11, 2016
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE -- Col. Virginia I. Doonan became the commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing on June 10, succeeding Brig. Gen. James M. LeFavor, who had served as commander since Nov. 2013.
Doonan is the first woman to hold the position of wing commander in the 102nd's history. She is also the first member of the wing who served within the organization as an enlisted member to ascend to the position of wing commander.
In an interview prior to the Change of Command Ceremony, Doonan was presented with the question: What does being the first woman commander in the 102nd's history mean to you?
"I'm honored to be the first woman to be a wing commander of this great wing, but it's not really about being a woman or a man, for me it's really about being the best leader and airman that I can be," said Doonan. "It's been a fantastic career and I am so honored and humbled that I was selected to be the leader of this organization, because it's given so much to me."
As commander, Doonan is responsible for the activities of more than 1,300 military and civilian personnel at the base. Personnel respond to peacetime contingencies while maintaining their ability to accomplish the organization's wartime missions of intelligence, cyber engineering and installation, and expeditionary combat support.
The Change of Command Ceremony is a time-honored tradition of the military services that demonstrates publically to the officers and enlisted personnel of the unit, the authority of the command has passed, without interruption, from one individual to another. It is conducted according to a formally prescribed ritual, to honor and maintain the tradition of the service.
"To the fellow members of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, it is my great privilege that I accept the honor and responsibility to be your wing commander," said Doonan. "Our newest challenge, standing-up our new cyber intelligence mission, building partnerships within the cyber community, defining our roles, training our people and proving we can fight and win wars on a brand new domain of cyberspace will be a herculean effort over the next two to three years - one I know we are ready for."
The Change of Command Ceremony also affords the members of the command, guests, and the local community the opportunity to recognize the achievements and service of the departing commanding officer, while welcoming the new commanding officer.
"As the wing commander, you always want to leave the wing in better hands than yours, and in this case that is what I'm doing," said LeFavor. "Regardless of what happens, I'll always be around. I'm not going to be a stranger to this wing. I'll be there to celebrate the next great gains and challenges that you surpassed, because I know you can handle it."
The presiding officer of the ceremony was Brig. Gen. Robert T. Brooks Jr., Commander, Massachusetts Air National Guard. "Great military units have one common bond - the key ingredient is trust," said Brooks. "I see this type of trust in the 102nd Intelligence Wing."
Doonan is also assigned as the Executive Deputy Director (Air) for Joint Base Cape Cod. She oversees strategic management and day-to-day base operating support of JBCC, working with commands from Otis Air National Guard Base, Army National Guard Camp Edwards, U.S. Coast Guard Cape Cod Air Station, U.S. Coast Guard Base Cape Cod and U.S. Air Force's 6th Space Warning Squadron in developing a unified plan and identifying opportunities for development of future business plans with the community, renewable energy opportunities and military efficiencies among the tenants of JBCC.
Prior to becoming commander Doonan served as vice commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing since 2013. She has served in various positions within the wing since joining the organization as an enlisted F-15 Avionics Mechanic in Oct. 1988.
Doonan has served in Operations NORTHERN WATCH, NOBLE EAGLE, IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. During her career, she has commanded at the flight, squadron and group levels.