All-female crews take off from Joint Base Charleston

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 4:49 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Joint Base Charleston is celebrating Women’s History Month with two all-female flights taking off Wednesday morning.

The crews took off at approximately 7:15 a.m. in two C-17 Globemaster III planes with 11 crew members on board, five to six crew members in each plane, JBC spokesperson Diana Cossaboom said.

The planes head to the Pope Army Airfield in North Carolina where they will pick up 40 more female paratroopers. All-female crews have left the base many times before, but what sets this apart is the 40 female paratroopers they are picking up, who will then conduct a jump from the C-17s.

The U.S. Air Force is currently 20% female, according to the Air Force Personnel Center. Cossaboom said it wasn’t until 2010 that an all female crew took flight from the base.

SSgt. Rachel Pye says having this all-female crew now is not nearly as uncommon as it use to be, it’s more about showing that they can make it happen.

Pye says for her and everyone involved it’s a privilege to get to step into these roles.

“Its really incredible to be able to celebrate all the women that have gone before us that have opened these doors for us that we can,” Pye said. “That we can just say we’re going to put together a mission completely crewed by female, in this, what is typically a more male setting.”

The two C-17s will return to Joint Base Charleston at 2:30 p.m.

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