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April, 3rd 2011

All-female team launches historic mission over Afghanistan

– Liz Mair

Via the U.S. Air Force:

3/31/2011 - BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- A team of female Airmen made history here March 30 when the F-15E Strike Eagles of "Dudette 07" blazed down the runway to provide close air support for coalition and Afghan ground forces.

The two-ship formation consisted of all females, two pilots and two weapons system officers, but more importantly, it marked the first combat mission flown from Bagram to be planned, maintained and flown entirely by females.

This mission represents the first combat sortie on record to involve only female Airmen from the pilots and weapons officers to the mission planners and maintainers, said Lt. Col. Kenneth Tilley, the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing historian.

Although the call sign for the mission may have been lighthearted, the sortie was all business calling for the pilots to travel to the Kunar Valley just west of the Pakistan border in support of a large Army operation that was underway.

"I have flown with female pilots before, but this was the first time I have flown in an all female flight," said Maj. Christine Mau, a 455th AEW executive officer. "This wasn't a possibility when I started flying 11-years ago."

My Dad and Grandpa were in the Air Force.  I like to think they'd both think this is pretty damned cool.  

John Noonan calls this "teach[ing] Taliban a lesson in cosmic justice."  I'll say! [intro]

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