Local

March 8, 2013

Women who aren’t afraid of heights or fights

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christine Phillips, 820th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers Airborne from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., has her parachute harness tightened during a T-11 parachute training class Feb. 21 at Fort Bragg, N.C. The T-11 parachute is a bigger parachute than the 820th RED HORSE Airmen are used to using.

Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. — With women now allowed to pursue combat related career fields, the first notion is that women have not participated in combat related duties whatsoever. But in reality this isn’t the first time women have been put in the line of fire.

During an airborne training exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C., female airborne engineers are taking part in combat training parachute jumps that simulate the seizure of a foreign runway. One of the roles is RED HORSE Airborne.

Expectations for male and female airborne members are set to an equal standard.

“In my eyes, no, I’m not treated any better or worse than any Soldier in the company,” said U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Bianka Lathan, 161st Engineer Support Company. “I have just always been expected to perform as the same as my [male] counterparts.”

The strength and endurance it takes to be a part of an airborne unit isn’t a walk in the park for anyone. Physically demanding tasks such as carrying heavy packs, weapons and rucking after landing from a parachute jump are tasks airborne engineers must be able to complete whether they are male or female.

“For sure women need to be held to the same physical standards as men, in case we have to pull one of them or carry the same equipment,” said said Staff Sgt. Christine Phillips, 820th RED HORSE engineer craftsman. “I am able to run just like they run, I can ruck just as long as they can, I don’t hold them up.”

Not only do these women carry the weight of work and family, they also deal with the pressure and expectations they place on themselves.

“Being the first female, 1st Sgt. for the 161st Engineer Support Company, I want to ensure I do everything I’m supposed to do at a high level so there isn’t any doubt,” Lathan said, “Recently, at Jump Master School, I felt a lot of pressure to make sure I completed the school on my first time, but it was really just me putting [the pressure] on myself.”

With the ban of women in combat lifted, women will now be able to pursue the same combat career paths as men in the military.

“It is a great opportunity; I feel there are many strong women who can perform at any level,” Phillips said.

“I have been in for 19 years and [have] seen the changes for women’s equality and I feel this opportunity is something women have been fighting for a very long time to be able to do,” Lathan said.

“Having women in airborne units might not be smooth all the time, but being given the same opportunity as a man has given hardworking women the chance to prove to themselves and others that they can reach and achieve the same goals as their male counterpart,” Phillips said.

 




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

AFAS helps ease financial stress

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Hiroko Bush, 99th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant, accepts a Nellis Airman’s Air Force Financial Aid Society application at the Airman and Family Re...
 
 

AF to change instructions for oaths

WASHINGTON — The Air Force has instructed force support offices across the service to allow both enlisted members and officers to omit the words “So help me God” from enlistment and officer appointment oaths if an Airman chooses. In response to concerns raised by Airmen, the Department of the Air Force requested an opinion from...
 
 

Why I became a victim advocate for fellow Airmen

Editor’s note: Though the author chose to remain anonymous, this is the real story of one Airman’s experience with sexual assault. Be mindful that no two sexual assault stories are the same. If you, or anyone you know, has been or is currently a victim of any sexual crime, contact the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

USAF A3, former USAFWS commandant visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler Lt. Gen. Burton M. Field, deputy chief of staff of Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., is sprayed by his wife Lisa after hi...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed

Shedding light on patient advocates

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed Master Sgt. Bryan Anderson, 99th Medical Group patient advocate, speaks with a patient at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 15....
 
 

F-35 on time to deliver global security, Air Force official said

WASHINGTON — Work leading up the completion of the multinational F-35 program is largely on track, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office executive officer said in remarks during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 15. Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan reported steady progress across all elements of...
 




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