05/13/2015 05:29 EDT | Updated 05/13/2016 05:59 EDT

Canadian air task force in Iraq gets female commander, former Sea King pilot

KUWAIT CITY - Canada's air detachment in the Middle East has a new commander.

Brig.-Gen. Lise Bourgon, has taken over responsibility for the country's air task force in a ceremony at the air base where Canadian aircraft conducting strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant are based.

She takes over for Brig.-Gen. Dan Constable, who has been in charge since CF-18s, CP-140 surveillance planes and a C-150 refueller deployed to the region last fall.

Bourgon, a Sea King pilot, recently served as commanding officer of 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron and as commander of 12 Wing Shearwater, in Nova Scotia.

She's flown helicopters off the decks of at least four Canadian warships and support vessels — including HMCS Preserver, HMCS Ville de Quebec, HMCS Toronto and HMCS Montreal.

Bourgon has also served on the staff at the directorate of air requirements at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, including a stint as director of the maritime helicopter replacement program.