US Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall will leave her job on 30 October to return to teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Widnall became the first female service secretary in 1993.

In resigning from her post, Widnall says: "It has always been my intention to see the Air Force through its 50th anniversary, and then return to academia."

Her replacement could be named before the end of September, and Florida State Senator Daryl Jones, a USAF Academy graduate and USAF Reserve fighter pilot, is expected to be nominated. He would become the first black Air Force secretary.

In August, US President Bill Clinton nominated Gen Michael Ryan, commander of US Air Forces Europe, to replace Gen Ronald Fogleman as USAF chief of staff. Fogleman's early retirement was caused by fall-out from the terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers complex in Saudi Arabia, which occurred in 1996.

Source: Flight International