FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Col. Bobbi Doorenbos is the new commander of the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Wing.
"It’s the management of all the day-to-day activities that are involved in 24/7 combat operations. So I have to make sure that all of our people are trained, and that we are able to do our mission without any hiccups or interruptions,” Doorenbos said Sunday (Jan. 11) after the change-of-command ceremony.
She was a commander at a base in Arizona, and has worked in Washington, D.C., too.
"What that gives me is a network. And sometimes it's all about who you know, in terms of being able to get things done. So I understand how NBG operates -- that's the National Guard Bureau,” Doorenbos said. “I understand who you need to talk to in order to get the things that you need to get done."
Doorenbos is the first female commander at the 188th.
"To me it's not really a big deal, but I recognize that to others it is a big deal. That's something that I'll honor and I want to honor. I hope that I prove to them that I'm capable and that I can do good things for this unit," she said.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R) was at the ceremony on Sunday (Jan. 11).
"I’m really excited about having a female commander. I’ve got three grown daughters -- it's neat, they can do anything that they want to do. And this lady has excelled in everything that she's done,” Boozman said.
Her father, who lives north of Bentonville, is who she said first got her interested in her career.
“He was an F-100 pilot; [he] used to take me to the airport and I’d smell the jet fumes, and I’d hear the loud noise and I just knew that was what I wanted to do,” she said.
One of her goals is to begin integrating with special operation forces at Fort Chaffee.
She said her first goal is to get the remotely-piloted aircraft operation and the DGS, or “intel analysis,” to operate under one roof.
Col. Mark Anderson will be returning to his previous job with American Airlines, according to Major Heath Allen at the 188th.