TUCSON -- A fighter pilot who made headlines for suing the Pentagon is about to become the Air Force's first female fighter squadron commander.
Lieutenant Colonel Martha McSally, 38, takes over this summer as the new leader of the 354th Fighter Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The squadron, which has been in action in both Iraq and Afghanistan, has 27 A-10 and OA-10 attack jets and more than 60 pilots and crew members.
McSally is the first active-duty female officer to lead an Air Force fighter squadron. In 1994, she was the first female Air Force pilot to fly combat missions.
In 2001, McSally successfully sued Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld over a policy that forced military women stationed in Saudi Arabia to wear Muslim religious garb when off base. McSally argued other women working in the Middle East nation were not forced to wear the long, black cloaks known as abayas.