Did The Air Force Just Play Gender Politics With America’s Nuclear Bombs?

Air Force photo/Airman Collin Schmidt

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The U.S. Air Force fielded all-female missile and aircrews Tuesday, in what it describes as an “historic event.”

Ninety women led the missile alert crews at all three U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile bases for a 24-hour alert. The event was meant to be in recognition of “Women’s History Month.”

“The fact that we can look across our pre-departure briefing room and see a woman sitting in every seat, for every combat crew going out on nuclear alert, is in itself significant,” Col. Tom Wilcox, 341st Missile Wing commander, said in a press release.

B-52 Stratofortress aircrews from Minot Air Force Base and Barksdale AFB additionally participated with all-female flight crews. Officers at the Malmstrom AFB wore special patches with the slogan: “We put the ‘miss’ in missileer.”

Women make up 19 percent of the Air Force, the highest of any service. Wilcox said the Air Force strives to build a force “representative of the nation we serve.”

“It wasn’t always this way, and we have further to go, but the Air Force has made great strides to build a force representative of the nation we serve,” Wilcox said.

The missileers participating also referred to it as an historic event for equality in the Air Force.

“It’s awesome to think about how far we’ve come as an Air Force and a country,” Second Lt. Alexandra Rea, deputy crew commander, told The Air Force Times.

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