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EAA Young Eagles - Ask the Expert

Question :
My name is Tori. Are there are any female F-22 pilots in the military? How about the MH-53 helicopter?
Answer :
Thanks for your question. The short answer is yes, there are female pilots in both. Air Force Capt. Jammie Jamieson, 30, who serves with the 525th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska is the first combat-ready woman fighter pilot to qualify to fly the F-22A Raptor. She’s not the first female to fly the F-22, a female test pilot was part of the flight test program. The Air Force now has an estimated 14,000 pilots, including nearly 3,700 fighter pilots and of that, 70 are women. Women in both the Navy and Air Force have flown the MH-53, although I have not found the total number of female helicopter pilots.

If these numbers seem small, it is not due to limitations put on female pilots, but rather a lack of women pilots who want to fly fighter aircraft. As a F-16 squadron commander at Luke AFB, I had the first female F-16 instructor pilot in my squadron. One of her duties was to encourage more female pilots to try for fighter assignments. If you have the dream to become a fighter or helicopter pilot, there is certainly nothing to stand in your way! Work hard in school and strive to be the best you can be in everything you do.

Good luck!

Lt Col (ret) Mike Carter
F-16 Pilot

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