FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sunday, January 8, 2012
CONTACT: Meredith Rosenthal at 302-287-7166
Senator Coons congratulates Gen. Timmons on taking command of Delaware Air National Guard
General Carol A. Timmons is first female to command the Delaware Air National Guard
WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senator Chris Coons today congratulated Brigadier General Carol A. Timmons on her new position as Assistant Adjutant General - Air of the Delaware National Guard. General Timmons – the first female to head Delaware’s Air National Guard – assumed her new position Sunday upon the retirement of Brigadier General J. Wayne Merritt.
“Having strong, experienced leadership in command is important to the success of our Guard units,” Senator Coons said. “General Timmons is a true trailblazer and an inspiration to women in Delaware and around the country. She followed her dream to fly aircraft in service of our nation, and has done so with courage and honor. I look forward to working with her, General Vavala, and the rest of the Delaware Guard leadership team on priorities in Washington for the men and women who serve our state. “
At today’s change of command ceremony at the Delaware Air National Guard main hangar, Senator Coons thanked both General Merritt and General Timmons for their service. He also honored all National Guard members for their essential role in keeping Delawareans safe, both at home and abroad, pointing to their service in Afghanistan and their lifesaving work during last winter’s snow emergencies.
Senator Coons also discussed legislation passed by the Senate this year to give the Chief of the National Guard Bureau a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and give the Guard a stronger voice in military planning. Senator Coons was a strong supporter of the measure from an early date and worked hard to secure bipartisan support for its passage. In today’s remarks, he highlighted cyber security and response to chemical, biological and nuclear attacks as key areas where the skills of National Guard members can help protect our national security on a daily basis.
Today’s ceremony marked General Merritt's retirement after 42 years of service. General Merritt previously served as an executive assistant to the New Castle County Executive and as the senior manager of operations for New Castle County Special Services.
Earlier this year, General Timmons became the first federally recognized female general officer in the history of the Delaware National Guard.