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Posted: 9/28/2005 6:44:29 PM EDT
First All-female Crew Flies Combat Mission

A crew of six Airmen at a forward deployed location climbed aboard a
C-130 Hercules together recently for the first time

By U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael G. Johnson
386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Sept. 27, 2005 — A crew of six Airmen at a forward deployed location climbed aboard a C-130 Hercules together recently for the first time in their careers. But something distinguished this mission from others they had flown --it was the first time an all-female C-130 crew flew a combat mission.


From left to right, Staff Sgt. Josie E. Harshe, flight engineer; Capt. Anita T. Mack, navigator; 1st Lt. Siobhan Couturier, pilot; Capt. Carol J. Mitchell, aircraft commander; and loadmasters Tech. Sgt. Sigrid M. Carrero-Perez and Senior Airman Ci Ci Alonzo, pause in the cargo bay of their C-130 for a group photo following their historic flight. U.S. Air Force photo

Capt. Carol Mitchell, aircraft commander; 1st Lt. Siobhan Couturier, pilot; Capt. Anita T. Mack, navigator; Staff Sgt. Josie E. Harshe, flight engineer; and loadmasters Tech. Sgt. Sigrid M. Carrero-Perez and Senior Airman Ci Ci Alonzo are all permanently assigned to the 43rd Airlift Wing at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and currently are deployed to the 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron flying cargo and troops in and out of Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.

"It was a great experience not many females can say they’ve had, however I don’t believe the Air Force should seek out all-female crews -- instead, we should focus on experience."
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ci Ci Alonzo

While some would call their mission “historic,” they feel this mission should be recognized like every other flight -- a successful combat mission.

“I enjoyed flying with this crew, but I don’t think we should go out of our way to have all-female crews,” said Captain Mitchell. “It took a long time for women to become accepted as aircrew members, and now that we are, we would be taking a step back by singling ourselves out rather than blending in with the rest of the Air Force.”

Airman Alonzo agrees. “It was a great experience not many females can say they’ve had,” she said. However I don’t believe the Air Force should seek out all-female crews -- instead, we should focus on experience.

“(The Air Force) should have the best crews they can put together. Nothing other than qualification and ability should be considered,” said Captain Mack.

Not only did this all female crew fly together for the first time, 6,800 miles from home-station, but they flew the mission on a Vietnam-era airplane -- a significance the crew did not miss.

“Our (aircraft) was a 1962 model. (It) came off the line when women weren’t accepted as C-130 aircrew, let alone in combat,” said Sergeant Harshe.

After the excitement of this all-female C-130 crew flying the first combat mission together wore off, they focused on what really mattered.

“(What matters is) knowing we’re making a difference and seeing it with every mission we fly,“ said Airman Alonzo. "(It's also) moving troops into the theater where they’re needed, seeing the excitement and relief on the faces of the guys and gals we take out of theater who have been there for six months to a year and are on their way home to their loved ones."

During the mission, the crew transported 151 Marines and their equipment.

Another thing they all agreed upon, the mission was a true experience.

“It was a fun thing to be able to say you did, if only once. Not that it is better, this was just different, and probably won’t happen for us again anytime soon just because of the sheer numbers,” said Sergeant Harshe.

Captain Mitchell said one additional benefit of this all female flight was gaining a different perspective.

“One way to avoid (complacency) is to mix the crews up a little, fly with some different people to get a different perspective,” she said. “And what better way to mix the crews up than by putting all the girls on the same crew?”

While the all-female crew did accomplish a unique milestone together, they point out that the significance of their mission success is that every crewmember achieved personal goals to get there.

“I encourage any girl or woman to do what she wants. Too often I hear people say they can’t do something (but it is) because they don’t realize they have the opportunity,” Captain Mack said. “I would tell any person flying is an attainable goal for anyone who wants to work for it. As they say, you are only limited in what you can do by what you can dream.”
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 6:45:06 PM EDT
Robert Heinlein is all for it.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 6:47:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Roland_O_Gilead:
Robert Heinlein is all for it.



He's dead. He could care less.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 6:57:37 PM EDT
So do they want a medal or a chest to pin it on?
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:00:57 PM EDT
<Stewie Griffin> I'd do her, do her, do her, do her, do her, let her do me. </Stewie Griffin>
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:02:09 PM EDT
I'd hit 'em.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:02:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2005 7:03:02 PM EDT by ARDOC]
Umm, after looking at some of those girls closely, some of them aint girls.

The one on the end has broader shoulders then Chris Speilman. I bet she could kick his ass too.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:02:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ineedhelp:
So do they want a medal or a chest to pin it on?



Kind of hard to see bewoobies in baggy flight suits.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:04:50 PM EDT
Great and interesting photo. I'd bet their families are very proud of them.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:05:02 PM EDT
Somewhat erotic to have 'our' girls beat the shit out of 'their' guys. (Even though they didn't fire a shot) *shrug*
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:06:30 PM EDT
Capt. Mitchell (#4) is a babe!
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:07:12 PM EDT
2 thumbs up for these soldiers
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:07:16 PM EDT
Way to go Girls!

Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:07:56 PM EDT
The tall brunette in the middle can pull my ejaculation handle anytime.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:09:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By Roland_O_Gilead:
Robert Heinlein is all for it.



He's dead. He could care less.



No. He is actually being rejuvenated at Tertius.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:10:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDOC:
The one on the end has broader shoulders then Chris Speilman. I bet she could kick his ass too.

Hence my "I'd let her do me" comment!
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:18:08 PM EDT
The ladies are serving their country just like their male counterparts.

God please keep them safe.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:20:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
The ladies are serving their country just like their male counterparts.

God please keep them safe.



Exactly, these women will do their job in harms way and will die just as easily as a man. I hope they stay safe and kick some ass.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:22:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
The ladies are serving their country just like their male counterparts.

God please keep them safe.



Couldn't have said it better. Go get em!
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:24:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dilbert_556:
The tall brunette in the middle can pull my ejaculation handle anytime.




Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:27:19 PM EDT
I'll take the 2nd and 4th from the left myself.

And I'd happily make the rest of them samiches any time they asked for it.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:27:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:31:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
just curious, what is a "combat" mission for a C-130 when the enemy has no Air Defense and no Air Force?
Flying over a place where soldiers are getting shot doesn't strike me as "combat"



I guess you've never heard of small arms fire or shoulder mounted missiles then.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:32:46 PM EDT
Mile high club any one?

Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:32:59 PM EDT
Women with guns AND an airplane!!!

No funnels though. I would hazard they don't apply the case rule.

Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:33:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2005 7:34:05 PM EDT by CitySlicker]
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:35:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 7:55:45 PM EDT
Seems like a pretty junior crew to me. When I was a Navy flight surgeon flying with a USMC KC-130 squadron, the aircraft commander was usually a major at least. and the flight engineer and loadmasters GySgts or Master Gunnies.

Seems to me you'd want to mix more seasoned people with more junior folks. Maybe the USAF is short of experienced crew, or was this all a publicity stunt for the "PC" crowd? Either way, flying with a bunch of low-hour crew would make me nervous, female or not.


Doc H.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:00:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2005 8:00:27 PM EDT by AKGURU]
Women do have a place in the armed forces and I respect each and every one of them the same as a male soldier. They dont need an article and recogition for doing there duties just because of their sex.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:02:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2005 8:04:30 PM EDT by AKGURU]
and another thing.. Everytime something gets posted about women we have men who only refer to them as sex toys and they even pick them out for their pleasure.. This behavior is disgusting!


I'd hit 'em.

The tall brunette in the middle can pull my ejaculation handle anytime

I'll take the 2nd and 4th from the left myself.
And I'd happily make the rest of them samiches any time they asked for it.

Mile high club any one?
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:04:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
just curious, what is a "combat" mission for a C-130 when the enemy has no Air Defense and no Air Force?
Flying over a place where soldiers are getting shot doesn't strike me as "combat"



I guess you've never heard of small arms fire or shoulder mounted missiles then.


I have.
How many aircraft have we lost to them?
And I would have to ask how many small arms have been engaged against aircraft in the past year or so?
Taking pot shots at aircraft seems to be a good way to get killed while not getting anything done.
That civilian cargo plane was shot at about 18 months ago and lost an engine?
How many fixed wing aircrew have we lost to groundfire in the past year?
Just seems as though it doesn't appear to be any riskier than flying a normal mission.




There is more to a combat zone than being shot at while flying.

I know people in both Iraq and Afghanstan that get shot at on a regular basis by small arms fire/mortars and they are in "secured" areas.
No difference.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:05:19 PM EDT
$5 says they ran over a milbox and bumped a curb taxiing the plane to the runway.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:08:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2005 8:09:20 PM EDT by MisterSuzuki]
Perhaps you've forgotten these......aircraft do, and have been shot down in Iraq. Even modified RPG's, with modified fuses to arm/detonate earlier have, and can bring down aircraft. I think there was a movie made on how that can be done.........Black Hawk something....forgot the name<---sarcasm

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/077378.php
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4468959.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/world/newsid_2912000/2912127.stm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Coalition_aircraft_crashes_in_Iraq (Accidents/Hostile/etc)

I tip my hat to these fine young women, doing a great service to our country, in a WAR ZONE!

That's more than some armchair commando's have done......including myself!

Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:08:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
just curious, what is a "combat" mission for a C-130 when the enemy has no Air Defense and no Air Force?
Flying over a place where soldiers are getting shot doesn't strike me as "combat"



Now, if it were an *A*C-130, we'd be talking...

Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:09:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2005 8:09:24 PM EDT by MMcCall]
I wonder how many of them are mailing home frozen breast milk.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:12:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:43:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AKGURU:



Women do have a place in the armed forces and I respect each and every one of them the same as a male soldier. They dont need an article and recogition for doing there duties just because of their sex.



I'm happy with anything positive about the military in the media.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:48:15 PM EDT
dibs on Carol J. Mitchell
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:49:07 PM EDT
One more way to piss off Al Qaeda.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 8:55:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:

Originally Posted By TheSneak:

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
just curious, what is a "combat" mission for a C-130 when the enemy has no Air Defense and no Air Force?
Flying over a place where soldiers are getting shot doesn't strike me as "combat"



Now, if it were an *A*C-130, we'd be talking...



What, are you high?
Who in their right fucking mind would shoot at an AC-130? Safest airplane from ground fire in existence.

No slam on the Zoomies, but to call flying an airplane over a dangerous area a "combat" mission seems a bit silly.
hell, I got shot at in Bosnia but they didn't call that, "combat"



Huh? I'm just an AC-130 fan trying to inject a little humor in the thread. I guess I failed.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 9:02:47 PM EDT
While it is great that they are there and they do their job just like a man would it is kind of amusing that they all got put on the same crew. What are the odds of that in a 20 to 1 male AF? This is just a PC photo op. Good for them though but I would rather see a true crew of random male/female members than some hand picked "look at me" crew
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:12:58 AM EDT

Uh.... aaalllllright!
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:14:00 AM EDT
No comment.

Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:16:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
just curious, what is a "combat" mission for a C-130 when the enemy has no Air Defense and no Air Force?
Flying over a place where soldiers are getting shot doesn't strike me as "combat"



Depending on what they did, all that had to happen was the wingtip cross an imaginary line in the sky to qualify.

Other than that, no comment.

Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:18:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By afman91201:
While it is great that they are there and they do their job just like a man would it is kind of amusing that they all got put on the same crew. What are the odds of that in a 20 to 1 male AF? This is just a PC photo op. Good for them though but I would rather see a true crew of random male/female members than some hand picked "look at me" crew



Yup. As soon as my unit had enough fully qualified women to make a crew they sent them off with a PA troop.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:21:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 5:21:26 AM EDT by injun-ear]

Originally Posted By AKGURU:
and another thing.. Everytime something gets posted about women we have men who only refer to them as sex toys and they even pick them out for their pleasure.. This behavior is disgusting!


I'd hit 'em.

The tall brunette in the middle can pull my ejaculation handle anytime

I'll take the 2nd and 4th from the left myself.
And I'd happily make the rest of them samiches any time they asked for it.

Mile high club any one?



What's your point?

J/K I'm very proud of them.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:22:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AKGURU:
and another thing.. Everytime something gets posted about women we have men who only refer to them as sex toys and they even pick them out for their pleasure.. This behavior is disgusting!


I'd hit 'em.

The tall brunette in the middle can pull my ejaculation handle anytime

I'll take the 2nd and 4th from the left myself.
And I'd happily make the rest of them samiches any time they asked for it.

Mile high club any one?


man, i'd bang them gringas like a drum! that second one reminds me of kaylee on "firefly"...

sly, they're AIR FORCE!!! if they can't call SOMETHING a "combat mission" how'd they rate their bronze stars and air combat medals?
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:22:24 AM EDT
mmmmmmmm


air turbulence


Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:22:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AKGURU:
and another thing.. Everytime something gets posted about women we have men who only refer to them as sex toys and they even pick them out for their pleasure.. This behavior is disgusting!


I'd hit 'em.

The tall brunette in the middle can pull my ejaculation handle anytime

I'll take the 2nd and 4th from the left myself.
And I'd happily make the rest of them samiches any time they asked for it.

Mile high club any one?



GOD FORBID that men find women ATTRACTIVE...... This behavior is NORMAL not disgusting. grow up and smell the way the world was when MEN roamed the earth, before being overwhelmed by "sensitivity" .

Christ.

If men did not think like this, humans would stop reproducing.

On a side note, while I admire their abilities and drive to get where they are.... Women have no place in combat. By design they are the nurturers and care givers and men are the workers and death dealers.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:27:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By afman91201:
While it is great that they are there and they do their job just like a man would it is kind of amusing that they all got put on the same crew. What are the odds of that in a 20 to 1 4 to 1 male AF? This is just a PC photo op. Good for them though but I would rather see a true crew of random male/female members than some hand picked "look at me" crew



Fixed it for ya. The AF is 19% female, they just happen to almost all be in admin and medical fields, thank God for that! They may be nice to look at be the less slack I have to take up for em the better. We have all female crews all the time flying "combat" missions, I'd say our pilots are fully 10% female on C-17s. We had an all female C-130 crew that always flew together (not the loads, but do they really count?), we couldn't very well call it the "cockpit" crew so we nicknamed them the "clit pit". I know we are terrible sexists and will rot in hell for it. We have some very attractive pilots in the AF, very very few that aren't "athletic" girl-jock string beans though.
Link Posted: 9/29/2005 5:29:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2005 5:44:55 AM EDT by thompsondd]


Don't forget these fine soldiers as well:


First all female KC-135 crew in combat

www.military-network.com/LadyPilots.cfm





First all female B2 crew (non-combat)

www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123008993&page=1


Lt. Col. Martha McSally - first woman to fly an A10 into combat and later, the first female fighter squadron commander.

www.azstarnet.com/dailystar/dailystar/20292.html


Capt. Nicole Malachowski, the first female member of the USAF thunderbirds in a flying position. She will be the #3 Right Wing pilot of the 2006 team.

www.airforcetimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-918312.php
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