US Air Force celebrates Women’s History Month with all-female C-17 flights

The U.S. Air Force celebrated Women’s History Month with two all-female flights over North Carolina and South Carolina this week.

The Air Force said in a statement that women from the 437th Airlift Wing and the 315th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina carried out the flights on March 17, together with women from the Army 82nd Airborne Division located at Pope Army Airfield in North Carolina.

The C-17 aircraft took off from Joint Base Charleston and flew to Pope Army Airfield, where they picked up 40 female paratroopers, local news outlet WCSC-TV reported. An airdrop had been scheduled as part of the exercise but did not take place due to "inclement weather," the Air Force told Storyful.

Still, the all-female flights served as a celebration of Women’s History Month, which is recognized throughout the month of March in the U.S. as a time to honor the vital role of women in American history and notable achievements across many different fields.

all-female flights

The all-female C-17 flights took place on March 17, 2021, over North Carolina and South Carolina. (Credit: US Air Force via Storyful)

Roughly 20% of active-duty U.S. Air Force personnel are women, according to data compiled Oct. 2020. This includes 838 female pilots, 375 navigators and 252 air battle managers.

Women first entered pilot training in 1976, navigator training in 1977 and fighter pilot training in 1993.

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This story was reported from Cincinnati.