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Finch selected to replace Samenus as 185th Vice Wing commander

  • Published
  • By Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing

185th Air Refueling Wing Commander Colonel Mark Muckey recently announced that Colonel Sonya Finch has been selected as Vice Wing Commander of the Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City, Iowa.

The position is being vacated by outgoing Vice Commander, Colonel Stephanie Samenus, who has been selected for a new position with the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Samenus recently accepted a position where she will serve as the Chief of Human Capital at the newly created NGB-Space Operations.

Finch has been serving as the Mission Support Group commander for the 185th where she managed the activities of the Wing’s security forces, civil engineering, military personnel and logistics readiness squadrons, the communications and services flights as well as contracting and the environmental management office.

Both Finch and Samenus are among the first women in the Iowa Air National Guard to be promoted to senior leader positions during their tenure with the Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City.

Samenus and Finch both began their military careers, enlisting in separate services in 1993. Samenus began her military career as a member of the Navy Reserve in Sioux City before making her way to the Air National Guard in 1998. Samenus has served in various capacities in the 185th including as the unit’s Support Group Commander before being selected as the Vice Commander.

Finch is a rated KC-135 pilot who has been a member of both the Iowa Army and Air National Guard following her commissioning through the Army ROTC program at the University of Northern Iowa in 1999. Before returning to Sioux City in January of 2020, Finch had been serving as the Director of Staff for Air at the Joint Forces Headquarters at Camp Dodge and flying remotely piloted aircraft at the 132d Wing in Des Moines.