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 Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey

Continued education inspires new Creech tradition

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey Master Sergeant Bryan Teeples, 15th Reconnaissance Squadron first sergeant, takes a selfie with Col. James Cluff, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, and Chief Mast...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

F-35 and F-22 combine capabilities in operational integration training mission

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo F-22 Raptors from the 94th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., and F-35A Lightning IIs from the 58th Fighter Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fl., fly in formation...
 
 

Our quest for zero

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Day in, and day out, we try to keep up with the hustle and bustle of the Nellis AFB mission; from the airmen basic replacing a sink facet to a colonel flying a training sortie, we all have some part in fulfilling this mission. The question is, how safe...
 

 

Airmen Powered by Innovation program launches new site

WASHINGTON — Fellow Airmen, Your enthusiasm and ingenuity continues to be our Air Force’s number one weapon system! In April we launched the Airmen Powered by Innovation program aimed at turning your ideas into real cost savings for our Air Force. Since coming online API has received and reviewed more than 2,400 ideas and that...
 
 
DoD
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Raptor demo team soars into sky

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE Nev. — Just as they do at many airshows across the nation, the F-22 Raptor Demonstration and Heritage Team from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, showcased the capabilities of the F-22 in the skies ...
 
 

Social well-being vital to Airman wellness

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — In order to accomplish the Air Force mission, and remain resilient to adversity, Airmen must maintain high levels of physical, mental, spiritual and social fitness. This quarter, the 99th Air Base Wing will focus on social fitness, by participating in events that focus on this Comprehensive Airmen Fitness pillar...
 




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