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First All-female Crew Flies Combat Mission
Defend America News ^ | Sep 27, 2005 | Air Force Capt. Michael G. Johnson

Posted on 09/27/2005 6:43:52 PM PDT by SandRat

Photo, caption below.
From left to right, Staff Sgt. Josie E. Harshe, flight engineer; Capt. Anita T. Mack, navigator; 1st Lt. Siobhan Couturier, pilot; Capt. Carol J. Mitchell, aircraft commander; and loadmasters Tech. Sgt. Sigrid M. Carrero-Perez and Senior Airman Ci Ci Alonzo, pause in the cargo bay of their C-130 for a group photo following their historic flight. U.S. Air Force photo
First All-female Crew Flies Combat Mission
A crew of six Airmen at a forward deployed location climbed aboard a
C-130 Hercules together recently for the first time
By U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael G. Johnson
386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
SOUTHWEST ASIA, Sept. 27, 2005 -- A crew of six Airmen at a forward deployed location climbed aboard a C-130 Hercules together recently for the first time in their careers. But something distinguished this mission from others they had flown --it was the first time an all-female C-130 crew flew a combat mission.

Capt. Carol Mitchell, aircraft commander; 1st Lt. Siobhan Couturier, pilot; Capt. Anita T. Mack, navigator; Staff Sgt. Josie E. Harshe, flight engineer; and loadmasters Tech. Sgt. Sigrid M. Carrero-Perez and Senior Airman Ci Ci Alonzo are all permanently assigned to the 43rd Airlift Wing at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and currently are deployed to the 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron flying cargo and troops in and out of Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.

"It was a great experience not many females can say they've had, however I don't believe the Air Force should seek out all-female crews -- instead, we should focus on experience."
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ci Ci Alonzo

While some would call their mission "historic," they feel this mission should be recognized like every other flight -- a successful combat mission.

"I enjoyed flying with this crew, but I don't think we should go out of our way to have all-female crews," said Captain Mitchell. "It took a long time for women to become accepted as aircrew members, and now that we are, we would be taking a step back by singling ourselves out rather than blending in with the rest of the Air Force."

Airman Alonzo agrees. "It was a great experience not many females can say they've had," she said. "However I don't believe the Air Force should seek out all-female crews -- instead, we should focus on experience."

"The Air Force) should have the best crews they can put together. Nothing other than qualification and ability should be considered," said Captain Mack.

Not only did this all female crew fly together for the first time, 6,800 miles from home-station, but they flew the mission on a Vietnam-era airplane -- a significance the crew did not miss.

"Our (aircraft) was a 1962 model. (It) came off the line when women weren't accepted as C-130 aircrew, let alone in combat," said Sergeant Harshe.

After the excitement of this all-female C-130 crew flying the first combat mission together wore off, they focused on what really mattered.

"What matters is) knowing we're making a difference and seeing it with every mission we fly," said Airman Alonzo. "It's also) moving troops into the theater where they're needed, seeing the excitement and relief on the faces of the guys and gals we take out of theater who have been there for six months to a year and are on their way home to their loved ones."

During the mission, the crew transported 151 Marines and their equipment.

Another thing they all agreed upon, the mission was a true experience.

"It was a fun thing to be able to say you did, if only once. Not that it is better, this was just different, and probably won't happen for us again anytime soon just because of the sheer numbers," said Sergeant Harshe.

Captain Mitchell said one additional benefit of this all female flight was gaining a different perspective.

"One way to avoid (complacency) is to mix the crews up a little, fly with some different people to get a different perspective," she said. "And what better way to mix the crews up than by putting all the girls on the same crew?"

While the all-female crew did accomplish a unique milestone together, they point out that the significance of their mission success is that every crewmember achieved personal goals to get there.

"I encourage any girl or woman to do what she wants. Too often I hear people say they can't do something (but it is) because they don't realize they have the opportunity," Captain Mack said. "I would tell any person flying is an attainable goal for anyone who wants to work for it. As they say, you are only limited in what you can do by what you can dream."



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: airmen; allfemale; c130; combat; crew; first; flies; iraq; militarywomen; mission; oif; usaf
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1 posted on 09/27/2005 6:43:53 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

Ladies Fly SOLO


2 posted on 09/27/2005 6:44:37 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Hooray! It must really get the Islamic 'I am a man!' crowd's goat to see something like this!


3 posted on 09/27/2005 6:45:45 PM PDT by HitmanLV
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To: SandRat

151 Marines (combat-equipped!) in ONE C-130?

Fergit the crew!

Heck, I'm impressed by the way they fit all them there Marines in da plane!


4 posted on 09/27/2005 6:46:08 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (-I contribute to FR monthly, but ABBCNNBCBS supports Hillary's Secular Sexual Socialism every day.)
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To: SandRat

I'm in love....


5 posted on 09/27/2005 6:46:30 PM PDT by injin
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To: SandRat

Cool!! My neice is a Lt in the Air National Guard!! We're proud of her and these women's families are proud of them!!


6 posted on 09/27/2005 6:47:50 PM PDT by Betteboop
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To: SandRat

Combat mission???? How heavy and sustained was the flak???


7 posted on 09/27/2005 6:47:52 PM PDT by cynicom
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To: SandRat

Too COOL!


8 posted on 09/27/2005 6:48:14 PM PDT by Boazo (From the mind of BOAZO)
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To: Betteboop

that should be niece


9 posted on 09/27/2005 6:48:18 PM PDT by Betteboop
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To: SandRat

And a very lovely all-female crew it is, too.


10 posted on 09/27/2005 6:48:21 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: SandRat

ooh baby...I hope it's not true that when women work together their pms becomes syncronized. Some bad guys and girls can run but there's nowhere to hide.


11 posted on 09/27/2005 6:49:07 PM PDT by swheats
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To: SandRat
Not only did this all female crew fly together for the first time, 6,800 miles from home-station...

Without once stopping to ask for directions!

12 posted on 09/27/2005 6:50:14 PM PDT by Plutarch
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To: SandRat
are all permanently assigned to the 43rd Airlift Wing
During the mission, the crew transported 151 Marines and their equipment.

Ah, I hate to say it, but this was a transport mission in an unarmed plane. Not a combat mission.

Even as such it was not new or unique. Many all women crews of Carrier On-board Delivery (COD) aircraft have transported combatants to and from Navy carriers for many years. CODs have landed troops in Kandahar for several years now.

13 posted on 09/27/2005 6:50:34 PM PDT by konaice
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

If I know Marines it was because they were all pressed up against the flight deck door window trying to look in on the crew.


14 posted on 09/27/2005 6:51:43 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

uh.... I'm sorry did you say something...., I was kinda looking at Josie and Carol......hey, How'd we end up in Iraq so quick???


15 posted on 09/27/2005 6:51:48 PM PDT by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
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To: cynicom

The Marines pounding on the flight deck door to get in was deafening.


16 posted on 09/27/2005 6:52:54 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Plutarch

Yeah but what about "Find a clean reststop, I need to get out!"


17 posted on 09/27/2005 6:55:27 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: konaice
Many all women crews of Carrier On-board Delivery (COD) aircraft have transported combatants to and from Navy carriers for many years.

You RUINED the P.C. story of the week!

18 posted on 09/27/2005 6:56:25 PM PDT by somemoreequalthanothers (All for the betterment of "the state", comrade)
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To: SandRat

Their statements show why they ARE qualified. No excuses, no compromise. Glad to see em on the job!

>"I enjoyed flying with this crew, but I don't think we should go out of our way to have all-female crews," said Captain Mitchell. "It took a long time for women to become accepted as aircrew members, and now that we are, we would be taking a step back by singling ourselves out rather than blending in with the rest of the Air Force."


Airman Alonzo agrees. "It was a great experience not many >females can say they've had," she said. "However I don't believe the Air Force should seek out all-female crews -- instead, we should focus on experience."


"The Air Force) should have the best crews they can put together. Nothing other than qualification and ability should be considered," said Captain Mack.


19 posted on 09/27/2005 6:56:58 PM PDT by Uriah_lost
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To: SandRat

Well, duh.

All of the on-deck (cargo handling) crew were wearing pistols on their hips. Strapped down, holstered and ready.

The flight deck crew were carrying pistols over their shoulder, casually like purses..

Now, if you were a bunch of Marines, where would YOU stand?


20 posted on 09/27/2005 6:57:51 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (-I contribute to FR monthly, but ABBCNNBCBS supports Hillary's Secular Sexual Socialism every day.)
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To: SandRat
BRAVO ZULU!

GOD SPEED!

21 posted on 09/27/2005 7:00:29 PM PDT by JOE6PAK (Make somebody happy. Mind your own business.)
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To: SandRat

Awesome! I love women in uniform.


22 posted on 09/27/2005 7:03:02 PM PDT by Paul_Denton (U.N. out of the U.S. and U.S. out of the U.N.! My gun has killed less people than Ted Kennedy's Car)
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To: SandRat; Aeronaut
Aviation list ping..."C-130 Crew of note...."

Somethin' 'bout a female pilot packin' a semi-automatic just does it for me ....

23 posted on 09/27/2005 7:04:40 PM PDT by GoldCountryRedneck ("Of course, the Piper Cub is the safest of airplanes; it will only slightly kill you" - Unknown)
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To: SandRat

What about the A10 female pilots, thats an all female crew?


24 posted on 09/27/2005 7:05:03 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (LET ME KNOW WHERE HANOI JANE FONDA IS WHEN SHE TOURS)
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To: SandRat

"Starbuck, whaddya hear?" :-)


25 posted on 09/27/2005 7:05:39 PM PDT by WestVirginiaRebel (The Democratic Party-Jackass symbol, jackass leaders, jackass supporters.)
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To: WestVirginiaRebel

Nuttin but the rain..8-)


26 posted on 09/27/2005 7:09:59 PM PDT by Armedanddangerous (Cindy Sheehan, American Traitor)
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To: Armedanddangerous

Just so long as we're sure that none of them are Cylon infiltrators 8-)


27 posted on 09/27/2005 7:11:21 PM PDT by WestVirginiaRebel (The Democratic Party-Jackass symbol, jackass leaders, jackass supporters.)
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To: swheats
Trust me it is true.

Try being the only one in the kitchen during the lunch rush with 8 waitresses seething at the plate window.

Suicide in the deep fryer was becoming an option...
28 posted on 09/27/2005 7:14:29 PM PDT by ChefKeith ( If Diplomacy worked, then we would be sitting here talking...)
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To: SandRat

Good. Now when can we send out draft registration notices to all 18 yr old women too? It's *LONG* overdue.


29 posted on 09/27/2005 7:14:52 PM PDT by newzjunkey (CA: Stop union theft for political agendas: YES on Prop 75!)
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To: SandRat

The right female stuff. Everything crybaby whiners like MoDo the DoDo who can't get a date and Crazy Cindy It'sallaboutmehan aren't.

Go ladies!


30 posted on 09/27/2005 7:15:41 PM PDT by Cecily
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To: U S Army EOD

I don't write 'em. I just post 'em.


31 posted on 09/27/2005 7:17:53 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: ChefKeith

LOL


32 posted on 09/27/2005 7:19:52 PM PDT by swheats
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To: SandRat
I had one of the first female C-130 crewmembers (a loadmaster) on my crew years ago. She did a good job.

She was very petite. We were at Osan AB (Korea) out on the town one night and she tried to keep up with our (male crewmember) drinking-- she got really drunk, passed out, and later spent the entire night puking her guts out.

Like I said, she did a good job.

33 posted on 09/27/2005 7:21:49 PM PDT by zipper (Freedom Isn't Free)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
The flight deck crew were carrying pistols over their shoulder, casually like purses..

When sitting in the seat it is much easier to unholster that pistol from a shoulder holster than a leg holster.

Lots of levers and switches near your leg that could be bumped at the wrong time.

And with a load of Marines in the plane they flight crew may have very well need that access while in flight;)

34 posted on 09/27/2005 7:22:42 PM PDT by ChefKeith ( If Diplomacy worked, then we would be sitting here talking...)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

"Heck, I'm impressed by the way they fit all them there Marines in da plane!"

Must have been stationed in Japan and ridden the trains.


35 posted on 09/27/2005 7:24:23 PM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
"All of the on-deck (cargo handling) crew were wearing pistols on their hips. Strapped down, holstered and ready. The flight deck crew were carrying pistols over their shoulder, casually like purses.. Now, if you were a bunch of Marines, where would YOU stand?"

ERECT!

36 posted on 09/27/2005 7:33:45 PM PDT by 2111USMC
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To: SandRat

And we love reading them.


37 posted on 09/27/2005 7:36:06 PM PDT by U S Army EOD (LET ME KNOW WHERE HANOI JANE FONDA IS WHEN SHE TOURS)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse; cardinal4
It's been a few years since I rode in a C-130. IIRC, there weren't too many ladies rooms aboard the Herky Bird. Have they been retrofitted lately to accomodate Co-Ed crews/Pax?

About twenty years ago we were on the ground at Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe to receive a shipment scheduled in on a C-141. My partner and I drove up to the C-141 as it was parking. The door opened and the loadmaster was standing in the door, an M-16 at the ready. Then I noticed the nail polish. First time we'd ever seen a lady loadmaster (or would that be loadmistress?).

38 posted on 09/27/2005 7:41:58 PM PDT by Ax (One can never be too rich, too thin or have too many camouflage T-shirts)
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To: WestVirginiaRebel; All

Rack Battlestar Galatica reset hey seen that episode of Female Cylon making love and her spine glow IN THE DARK


39 posted on 09/27/2005 7:43:18 PM PDT by SevenofNine ("Not everybody in, it, for truth, justice, and the American way,"= Det Lennie Briscoe)
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To: SandRat

Hudson: Hey, Vasquez... Have you ever been mistaken for a man?
Vasquez: No. Have you?

40 posted on 09/27/2005 7:46:54 PM PDT by Leroy S. Mort
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To: SandRat
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
41 posted on 09/27/2005 7:49:51 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (Roll your own cigarettes! You'll save $$$ and smoke less!(Magnetic bumper stickers-click my name)
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To: SandRat

Thanks to every one who serves.


42 posted on 09/27/2005 7:54:34 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: SandRat
however I don't believe the Air Force should seek out all-female crews -- instead, we should focus on experience."

And the mission ...

43 posted on 09/27/2005 7:56:22 PM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: swheats

I just knew that someone would go into the gutter on this thread!


44 posted on 09/27/2005 7:56:41 PM PDT by montomike (Gay means happy and carefree...not an abomination against nature's check valve.)
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To: konaice
Ah, I hate to say it, but this was a transport mission in an unarmed plane.

The plane may not be armed but the crew sure looks like they're packin 9's.

45 posted on 09/27/2005 8:12:21 PM PDT by WideGlide (That light at the end of the tunnel might be a muzzle flash.)
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To: cynicom
Combat mission???? How heavy and sustained was the flak???

And how many combat missions do you have. No airfield, let alone some remote landing strip, is completely safe to fly into. The bad guys have RPGs, mortars, and even a few MANPAD SAMS.

But even that is not the point. Anytime you fly into, out of, or within, a combat zone, it's a combat mission.

This may have been the first all female C-130 crew, but I ran into an all female crew 20 years ago, in the Transit Billeting office at the old Carswell AFB. Trouble is I can't remember what kind of aircraft they were flying. C-141 or maybe KC-135, I just can't recall. It's called getting old.

46 posted on 09/27/2005 9:13:53 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: konaice
Ah, I hate to say it, but this was a transport mission in an unarmed plane. Not a combat mission

So an RF-4 flying over North Vietnam wasn't a combat mission either? They weren't armed, nor were SR-71s and U-2s. Doesn't mean they didn't get shot at. Just as this crew had no assurance that they wouldn't get shot at.

Those pistols on their thighs aren't just for show either. If they RON, which they likely do, they are for self defense should the Jihadies decide that is the night to attack whatever passes for Transient Billeting.

47 posted on 09/27/2005 9:18:19 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: somemoreequalthanothers
You RUINED the P.C. story of the week!

They didn't say it was the first all female flight crew, not even the first Air Force one. Just the first C-130 crew. IIRC, the COD has a much smaller crew, being a smaller aircraft, so the chances of getting an all female crew is much higher.

48 posted on 09/27/2005 9:25:21 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: SandRat
Doesn't Staff Sgt.Harshe remind y'all a bit of Lt. Tasha Yar?


49 posted on 09/27/2005 9:29:14 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
151 Marines (combat-equipped!) in ONE C-130?

They definitely were crowded in there. The specs at Global Security and the Air Force Factsheet say the capacity is 92 ground troops. Possibly a typo. Maybe 101 or just 51, or perhaps it was two sorties.

50 posted on 09/27/2005 9:36:50 PM PDT by El Gato
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