Air Force

June 1, 2012

Angels over Kyrgyzstan

Tags:
by Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols
374 Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs
Angels deploy to
(Left to right)Airman 1st Class Tracy Johnson, boom operator, Maj. Kristen Westby, pilot and 1st Lt. Melissa Evans, co-pilot, all with the 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, pose in front of a KC-135 Stratotanker before taking off for a refueling mission April 19, 2012, Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan. Johnson and Westby are deployed here from the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Evans is deployed here from the 912th Air Refueling Squadron at March Air Reserve Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols)

TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan — With only 19 percent of the Air Force being female and of that, only five percent of those females being pilots, it is not often that you hear of an all-female flight crew, especially while being deployed.

“Angel flight,” an all-female aircrew deployed to the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, had the opportunity to fly an in-flight refueling mission together on a KC-135 Stratotanker.

In the late hours of April 19, Maj. Kristen Westby, pilot, 1st Lt. Melissa Evans, co-pilot and Airman 1st Class Tracy Johnson, boom operator, successfully refueled three coalition forces F-16 Fighting Falcons.

Westby and Johnson are deployed from the 93d Air Refueling Squadron Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., while Evans is deployed from the 912th Air Refueling Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, Calif.

This flight was special for Westby, a pilot for 12 years and Johnson, a boom operator for two years, because it was the first all-female flight for both of them.

“I love flying together, Maj. Westby is like a big sister and role model to me, so it has been pretty awesome,” Johnson said. “I also enjoy flying with 1st Lt. Evans, she’s pretty cool, so it made the “angel flight” that much more exciting.”

Westby, who has more than 2,500 flying hours, said, “It’s a lot of fun to fly with “just the girls.” We love our regular crew but sometimes it’s nice to be able to have girl talk,” she said. “It’s just fun and different.”

Johnson and Westby deployed together with a male co-pilot from their home station, while Evans deployed with a male pilot and boom operator. Even though flying together isn’t something the three females do very often, this was an opportunity to learn from one another.

“I feel it’s important to have female role models to learn something new from their perspective,” Westby said. “It’s important to take the opportunity to learn from other crews and take those experiences with you.”

Johnson agreed, “I think it’s important to remember the past and how hard women have worked to do what we do today,” she said. “I think it’s a great way to pay tribute to the people who worked so hard to get us where we are at today.”

During the mission, the crew delivered 18,000 pounds of fuel. Each aircraft received an average of 6,000 pounds.
Even though the crew has a tough job to do, they also take the time to enjoy each other’s company.

“We had so much fun having our girl talk and not worrying about the guys rolling their eyes,” Westby said. “It also helped that we had all worked together at some point before, so things were not awkward, we just fit right in with each other.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Air Force creates Installation and Mission Support Center

The Air Force is centralizing its installation support management within a newly created Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC), Air Force officials announced July 11. The change resulted from a comprehensive effort to reduce overhead costs; increase efficiencies; eliminate redundant activities; improve effectiveness and business processes; and will help meet the Defense Dep...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Katherine C. Gandara

AF introduces Total Force Commissioning Process

U.S. Air Force photo/Katherine C. Gandara University of New Mexico Air Force ROTC cadets take their oath of commission in a ceremony at the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center headquarters at Kirtland Air Force Bas...
 
 

IMPORTANT INCIDENT REPORTING NUMBERS AND PROCEDURES

For 24-hour security assistance, call the Base Defense Operations Center (BDOC) at 655-2981 through 2985. Use if you need immediate security assistance Use to report all criminal activity Use to report Resource Protection issues Use to report traffic accidents To report incidents affecting Protection Level 1, 2 or 3 resources, call the Security Incident Hotline...
 

 
AF-to-Every-airman-grafic

AF to every Airman: Tell us your story

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force leaders want Airmen to share their stories with the world and designed the 2014 American Airman Video Contest with that purpose in mind. “Every Airman has a story — and smartphone tec...
 
 

Pulse on Air Force force-shaping management

Several factors have resulted in fewer Airmen eligible for current and upcoming involuntary force management boards. Air Force leaders recently decided to bolster manning for nuclear-related career fields, an intention to make adjustments to account for budgetary uncertainties tied to proposed force structure changes. Those actions, coupled with previously approved voluntary applications and re...
 
 
SECAF_DLJones

SecAF says Total force readiness has atrophied

While elements of the Air Force are always prepared to meet the country’s readiness needs, total force readiness has deteriorated, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told the Defense Writers Group June 18. Nearing the six-...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin