MILITARY

Air Force general is 1st woman at top-tier US combat command

  • This undated U.S. Air Force photo shows Gen. Lori Robinson, the new commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and U.S. Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.  (U.S. Air Force via AP)

    This undated U.S. Air Force photo shows Gen. Lori Robinson, the new commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and U.S. Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. (U.S. Air Force via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Navy Admiral William E. Gortney, the outgoing commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, hugs the incoming commander, Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson, also giving her his Denver Broncos mug, during the change of command ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, May 13, 2016. Gen. Robinson is the first woman to lead a top-tier U.S. military command after taking charge Friday at NORAD and USNORTHCOM. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

    Navy Admiral William E. Gortney, the outgoing commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, hugs the incoming commander, Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson, also giving her his Denver Broncos mug, during the change of command ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, May 13, 2016. Gen. Robinson is the first woman to lead a top-tier U.S. military command after taking charge Friday at NORAD and USNORTHCOM. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, hands the U.S. Northern Command flag to Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson, the incoming commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, during the change of command ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, May 13, 2016. Gen. Robinson is the first woman to lead a top-tier U.S. military command after taking charge Friday at NORAD and USNORTHCOM. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, hands the U.S. Northern Command flag to Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson, the incoming commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, during the change of command ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, May 13, 2016. Gen. Robinson is the first woman to lead a top-tier U.S. military command after taking charge Friday at NORAD and USNORTHCOM. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)  (The Associated Press)

Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson becomes the first woman to head a top-tier U.S. warfighting center when she takes charge of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD in Colorado.

Robinson assumes command in a ceremony Friday at Peterson Air Force Base.

People who know Robinson describe her as the personification of a new generation of leaders, someone who understands the Air Force has a broad role in space, cyber security and drones, not just flying and fighting.

Her family has deep roots in the Air Force. Her husband is a retired two-star general who was a pilot in the Thunderbirds demonstration team. Her father was a 30-year Air Force veteran and a pilot in the Vietnam War.

She is one of just two female four-star generals in the Air Force.