Female Pilots to be in Combat Trial Positions at the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment

Fort Campbell forges ahead placing women on elite teams

Women have been flying Apache attack helicopters in the U.S. Army for about 15 years. Since the 1990's women have been flying helicopters and serving in Fort Bragg's Combat Aviation Brigades but not for the Special Operations Community.

The 82nd CAB currently has more than 25 female pilots assigned, which
account for a majority of the female pilots stationed at Ft. Bragg. That means women, who officially don’t have combat roles, have been battle-tested in numerous war time deployments. The unit also has a large number of aviation support personnel, many of whom are female.

Taking their role a step further, the Army’s most elite aviation unit, known as the Night Stalkers, has proposed a test program to let women serve as pilots and crew chiefs, pending congressional approval.

According to a LeafChronicle.com report the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, based at Fort Campbell, Ky., will give women a trial as pilots and crew chiefs as part of a military-wide review on gender policies last year that preceded the Pentagon’s announcement on Jan. 24 to lift a broad ban on women fighting in smaller ground combat units, which include many artillery, armor and infantry jobs.

“This test program is a natural transition as these occupational specialties are already open to women in conventional Army Combat Aviation Brigades,” Lt. Col. Dave Connolly, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command said in the news report.

In the conventional Army, pilots are able to transition between aircraft by
attending additional training at Fort Rucker, Ala. The length of training
varies depending on which aircraft the pilot is coming from/going to.
Training on different aircraft via this method is not uncommon, but it is not known how these females selected will transition into this new program.

Read more about Chief Warrant Officer 2 Laura Tanski, an AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot here.

Harnett Hawkdriver February 07, 2013 at 09:23 PM
I never thought I would see the day that this unit in particular would bow to political pressure. It is a sad day for all who were proud to call themselves "Nightstalkers". This will begin a slippery slope where this will be just another Aviation unit only with cooler toys. I am sure all of their special ops "customers" will be so happy to climb aboard a bird with a women trying to make a statement for equality. The government is hunting for that one female who they can slide into the special ops community so they can make good on their promise to the left wingers.


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