January 2007 Issue
Colleen Marie Ryan
Colonel, U.S. Air Force
Residence: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton.
Occupation: Commander of the 88th Air Wing and installation commander for the base, one of the biggest in the nation and Ohio's largest single-site employer.
Photo by John Johnston
What that means in layman's terms:
"I'm the mayor of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base."
Claim to fame: She's the first woman to hold that post, which she has held since June. Previous assignment: She was commander of the 100th Mission Support Group, Royal Air Force, Mildenhall, England.
Biggest surprise about her new job: "I didn't realize how much I'd have to interact with the community outside the base - local mayors, city managers. I speak to lots of civic organizations, lead Congressional visits. It's a good part of my job - it's also my favorite part, by the way."
Up in the air she goes: Ryan has logged more than 3,400 flying hours.
Recent accomplishment: The completion of unit compliance inspection, in which 132 federal inspectors spend two weeks reviewing all imaginable aspects of Wright-Patterson's operations. "Our score was excellent - that's the result of a year-plus of hard work by a lot of people, and we're very proud."
What she does to relax: "I would love to say I golf, but I don't get to very often. I like to cook for other people and I like to read, but I don't get to do those very often, either."