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Air Force secretary Heather Wilson stepping down at end of May

Pence says Space Force to launch this year

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson is resigning to take a job in academia after less than two years in her role, CBS News Pentagon correspondent David Martin reports. 

Wilson will resign May 31, as long as she receives a favorable vote from the University of Texas System, according to the Air Force. 

"It has been a privilege to serve alongside our Airmen over the past two years and I am proud of the progress that we have made restoring our nation's defense," Wilson said. "We have improved the readiness of the force; we have cut years out of acquisition schedules and gotten better prices through competition; we have repealed hundreds of superfluous regulations; and we have strengthened our ability to deter and dominate in space."

Wilson would have overseen President Trump's new Space Force department, which will falls under the Air Force. 

On Twitter, President Trump thanked Wilson for her service and congratulated her on the move.

"Congratulations to Heather Wilson, who is the sole finalist to become the next President of University of Texas at El Paso effective September 1, 2019. Heather has done an absolutely fantastic job...as Secretary of the Air Force, and I know she will be equally great in the very important world of higher education. A strong thank you to Heather for her service," the president wrote.

Wilson, a former Republican member of Congress, has served as the head of the Air Force since 2017. She was an Air Force officer in the 1980s. 

This is a developing story.

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