Obama nominates Air Force's first female four-star general

Mon Feb 6, 2012 11:06pm EST

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(Reuters) - President Barack Obama has nominated Air Force Lieutenant General Janet Wolfenbarger to become the service's first woman four-star general, military officials said on Monday.

Wolfenbarger, who has served in the Air Force for more than 30 years, currently handles equipment and weapons acquisitions for the service, the Air Force said.

In that role she oversees research and development, testing, production and modernization of programs worth more than $40 billion a year.

The U.S. Senate will have to confirm Wolfenbarger's promotion.

Army General Ann Dunwoody in 2008 became the first female four-star general in the U.S. military.

Wolfenbarger would be the first woman four-star general in the Air Force, said Andrea Knudson, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of the Air Force.

Wolfenbarger is a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

Prior to her current assignment, she was the vice commander, Air Force Material Command, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, according to her biography on a military website.

(Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Tim Gaynor)

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