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All-female air crews honor Women’s History month

By 2nd Lt. Jessica Adams and Airman 1st Class Luke Hill 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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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.