SCOTIA, N.Y. (AP) — A northern New York resident has become the first woman to command the only ski-equipped aircraft unit in the U.S. military.

A change-of-command ceremony was held Sunday at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Schenectady County, home to the 109th Airlift Wing. Col. Michele Kilgore, of Watertown, took over command from Col. Shawn Clouthier, who is moving to a position at New York Air National Guard headquarters.

Kilgore is a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with more than 3,500 flight hours as a command pilot. During her career she has flown combat support missions in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.

Her husband, Col. Robert Kilgore, is commander of the Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing based in Niagara Falls.

The 109th flies ski-equipped C-130 cargo planes that support missions in the Artic and Antarctica regions.

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