In our Air Rescue Unit we had an aircraft mechanic who wanted to become a C-130 Air Rescue Pilot with our unit but she was approaching the Air Force’s Pilot Training maximum age requirements and being shy of her education requirements for the Air Force. She calculated into her future and realized at her age she could not attain her education credit goals before she became eligible to get into the Air Force’s Pilot training school.
However, the Army has a program (still today) where they will take someone with less educational credits (to become a regular officer)and put them in their helicopter training program and gave them the rank of Warrant Officer. (Actually someone only needs a High School or equivalent diploma earning the program its nickname “ High School to Flight School “).
So she left our unit (an Air National Guard Unit under Air Force’s rules) and joined the Army’s helicopter pilot training program.
She graduated as an Army Warrant Officer Helicopter Pilot.
This “Pilot” status qualified her to become a pilot in the United States Air Force, therefore she was eligible to transfer back into our Air Rescue Unit and get into the C-130 Pilot Training Program.
She graduated and became one of our C130 Rescue Aircraft Pilots. (I’m not positive if she became duel qualified in both our H60 helicopters and our C-130s but I don’t see why not).
On a side note, our unit (and all Air Rescue Units) went under the U.S. Air Force during war time and we went from Air Rescue designation to Combat Rescue designation.
It was not too long ago women were restricted from being assigned to a career field that would put the into a war zone.
She became one of the first female combat pilots in our unit after the restrictions were lifted.
The first ten female officers to graduate
from Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training
– T-38- Williams AFB, Arizona.
Dept. of Defense Photo.
(While on active duty I was stationed at Williams AFB at the time of this photo. I worked as an environmental mechanic on these T-38s (as well as T-37s and F-5s)).
Williams produced about 25% of all the A.F. Pilots and was militarily closed in 1993.
The Thunderbird Demonstration Team used the T-38 aircraft at one point.
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