All Female AWACs Crew includes Four Males

The 552nd Air Control Wing, which flies the E-3 Sentry, went out of its way to find 19 female Airmen to fill the flight deck and mandatory crew positions of the AWACs.  They “made history…by fielding an all-female flight crew.”  The wing pulled women from every unit, including Reserves, to find enough female Airmen:

The crew, comprised every operational flying squadron within the wing, took to the air on Aug. 23, in what is believed to be the first sortie flown by an all-female crew from the wing.

The “all female” flight routein has been done — and lauded — several times before, in other units and at other levels.  It appears precedent has been set for every unit and airframe to make a “historic” gender-specific flight.

In an awkward twist, the four men onboard the aircraft appear to have been ignored so it could be called an “all female” crew: 

Four men were added at the last minute because there was still room on the jet and an opportunity for valuable training…

As for the four males who joined the crew on the training mission, they all indicated they had a great time and enjoyed being part of such a unique sortie.

The official military article and sanctioned gender-specific effort seems to clash with the theme that the military is, or should become, “gender-blind.”

“People don’t think much about launching an all-male sortie at all,” Airman Harvey added.

Maybe someday they won’t think much at all about the gender of the person they’re launching.