Vice Adm. Nora W. Tyson is in line to be the first female commander of the Navy’s Third Fleet, based in San Diego and overseeing operations in the eastern and northern Pacific.

Vice Adm. Nora W. Tyson has been nominated for assignment as commander, Third Fleet. Image via Navy

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the president’s nomination, the Department of Defense said Tuesday.

Tyson, who will succeed retiring Vice Adm. Kenny Floyd, now serves as deputy commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

A Navy spokesman said Tyson, if confirmed, would be one of three three-star admirals in San Diego — and the first woman to lead the Third Fleet, which covers 50 million square miles and dates back to World War II.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nora Wingfield Tyson is in her late 50s and graduated from Vanderbilt University, online biographies say. She received her commission from Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.

According to a Vanderbilt profile, Tyson in July 2010 became the first woman in U.S. Navy history to be named commander of a carrier strike group.

“She earned her wings as a naval flight officer in 1983 and reported to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron, where she served three tours at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, and Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, including one as commanding officer,” her official Navy profile says.

Tyson also commanded the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, leading the Navy’s part in Hurricane Katrina disaster relief, and deployed twice to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Her shore tours include service on the Joint Staff as a political-military planner in the Asia-Pacific Division of the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate; as executive assistant for the assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; as director of staff for Commander, Naval Forces Europe/Commander, 6th Fleet; as executive assistant for the Chief of Naval Operations; and as vice director, Joint Staff.

Tyson reported as deputy commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, in July 2013.

Tyson earned a master’s degree in national security and strategic affairs from the U.S. Naval War College in 1995.

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