U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement after the White House announced that President Trump will nominate South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) President Heather Wilson to serve as the next secretary of the Air Force:
“As an Air Force veteran, former member of Congress, and now leader of one of the nation’s top science and engineering schools, Heather Wilson is uniquely qualified to help lead America’s airmen, and I look forward to supporting her nomination,” said Thune. “Our military requires strong and bold leadership, particularly in the early stages of a new administration, and Heather is exactly what the Air Force needs.”
Wilson served in the Air Force from 1982-1989 and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998 and served until 2009. In 2013, Wilson became president of SDSM&T, which is just miles away from Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Wilson was instrumental in applying cutting-edge technologies that were developed at SDSM&T to solve B1-B Bombers maintenance issues at Ellsworth Air Force Base.