WASHINGTON, May 21 (CGTN) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced Barbara Barrett as his pick for the next secretary of the Air Force.

"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted.

If confirmed by the Senate, Barrett will replace Heather Wilson, who is expected to step down at the end of this month and will become the next president of the University of Texas at El Paso in September.

Wilson said in a tweet after Trump's announcement that Barrett was a "Wonderful choice by the President!"

Barrett has a longstanding interest in aerospace issues, sitting on the boards of the Rand and Aerospace corporations where she also served with former Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, and acting as a former member of the Pentagon's Defense Business Board, according to a report from the Air Force Times.

She is an instrument-rated pilot and also the first civilian woman to land in an F/A-18 Hornet on an aircraft carrier, said the report. In 2009, she trained at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, and Kazakhstan, and was then certified for space travel.