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All-female air crews honor Women’s History month

Col. Kristin Goodwin, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, and Maj. Heather Decker, 93rd Bomb Squadron instructor pilot, go through their preflight checklist prior to takeoff at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. This B-52 Stratofortress formation highlights the contributions of women who have served our country throughout American history. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd LT. Jessica Adams)

Col. Kristin Goodwin, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, and Maj. Heather Decker, 93rd Bomb Squadron instructor pilot, go through their preflight checklist prior to takeoff at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. This B-52 Stratofortress formation highlights the contributions of women who have served our country throughout American history. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd LT. Jessica Adams)

Fourteen aircrew members to include Col. Kristin Goodwin, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, and crew chiefs pose for a photo on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. To celebrate women’s history month, two all-female aircrews were assembled to make U.S. Air Force history. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Jessica Adams)

Fourteen aircrew members to include Col. Kristin Goodwin, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, and crew chiefs pose for a photo on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. To celebrate women’s history month, two all-female aircrews were assembled to make U.S. Air Force history. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Jessica Adams)

Maj. Sarah Fortin, 20th Bomb Squadron assistant director of operations, briefs aircrew prior to their takeoff from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. For the first time in Air Force Global Strike Command and B-52 Stratofortress history, all-female aircrews were assembled to honor Women’s History Month. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Jessica Adams)

Maj. Sarah Fortin, 20th Bomb Squadron assistant director of operations, briefs aircrew prior to their takeoff from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. For the first time in Air Force Global Strike Command and B-52 Stratofortress history, all-female aircrews were assembled to honor Women’s History Month. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Jessica Adams)

A B-52 Stratofortress was inspected before takeoff at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. To highlight the contribution of women who have served our country and to honor women’s history month, two B-52’s will be flown by all-female Air Crew. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Luke Hill)

A B-52 Stratofortress was inspected before takeoff at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. To highlight the contribution of women who have served our country and to honor women’s history month, two B-52’s will be flown by all-female Air Crew. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Luke Hill)

Crew chiefs guide a B-52 Stratofortress on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. An all-female aircrew and maintenance crew were assembled to partake in the first all-female B-52 flight to honor women’s history month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Luke Hill)

Crew chiefs guide a B-52 Stratofortress on the flightline at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. An all-female aircrew and maintenance crew were assembled to partake in the first all-female B-52 flight to honor women’s history month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Luke Hill)

An all-female aircrew is briefed before their flight at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. To celebrate women’s history month, two all-female aircrews were assembled to make U.S. Air Force history by being the first all-female aircrew to fly a B-52 Stratofortress. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Luke Hill)

An all-female aircrew is briefed before their flight at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. To celebrate women’s history month, two all-female aircrews were assembled to make U.S. Air Force history by being the first all-female aircrew to fly a B-52 Stratofortress. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Luke Hill)

A B-52 Stratofortress piloted by an all-female aircrew prepares for take off at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. This first-of-its-kind event showcases the professionalism of women officers within the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Luke Hill)

A B-52 Stratofortress piloted by an all-female aircrew prepares for take off at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22, 2016. This first-of-its-kind event showcases the professionalism of women officers within the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Luke Hill)

Barksdale Air Force Base, La. --

For the first time in Air Force history, two all-female crews of B-52 Stratofortress aviators from the 2nd Bomb Wing flew training missions from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 22.

To highlight the contributions of women who have served our country throughout American history, all ICBM alert crews and chosen B-52 flying crews within the continental U.S. were manned by women.

This first-of-its-kind event showcases the professionalism of women officers within the U. S. Air Force as almost two-thirds of the U.S. nuclear triad was operationally controlled by women.  

“It is an honor to be flying with these women today,” said Col Kristin E. Goodwin, 2nd Bomb Wing commander. “These two flights, launched and crewed only by women, serve as a source of pride for the whole 2nd Bomb Wing, Air Force Global Strike Command, and for each and every American. Today, we few put into practice the accomplishments of many.”

Goodwin flew as aircraft commander of one of the B-52s alongside six other women.  In total, fourteen women whose ranks range from lieutenant to colonel flew this historic formation, serving in the roles of pilot, weapons system officer, and electronic warfare officer.

“Today is a day that I have been looking forward to for a long time,” said Captain Elise Manley, 20th Bomb Squadron electronic warfare officer.  “I am so humbled to be a part of this incredible opportunity. Even more so, I am excited to be a part of such an elite group to honor the heritage of women in aviation and the military during Women’s History Month.”

The 2nd Bomb Wing’s historic formation was not only crewed by women, but additionally the maintainers who prepared the B-52 for flight and who launched the aircraft were also women.