NAVAL AIR STATION NORTH ISLAND, Calif. –
In celebration of Women’s History Month, an all-women crew of pilots and support personnel assigned to the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 flew a C-2A Greyhound from Naval Air Station North Island, California, to Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, for the aircraft’s retirement, March 23.
The C-2A Greyhound’s primary mission as part of the carrier air wing is carrier onboard delivery (COD). The MV-22 Osprey has taken over this mission as part of the Advanced Air Wing and “Air Wing of the Future,” which has led to the staggered retirement of Greyhounds in preparation for the sundowning of the VRC-30 squadron.
Cmdr. Jessica Caldwell, VRC-30’s commanding officer, was one of the pilots for the flight and shared her sentiment regarding the C-2A platform and its retirement.
“This aircraft was my workhorse as a junior officer,” Caldwell said. “When I found out that it was being sent to AMARG, I knew I wanted to be a part of its last flight. The other pilot who I would be flying with suggested that we fly as an all-female flight crew in celebration of Women’s History Month. We are fortunate to have enough qualified women here at VRC-30 and took it one step further to organize [an] all-female launch crew.”
The U.S. Navy commissioned its first six female naval aviators in 1974. Today, 12 percent of naval aviators are female, and that number is growing.
“As I’ve progressed though my career, I’ve come to realize just how important it is to honor and highlight our diversity in the Navy,” Caldwell said. “By celebrating Women’s History Month, we are strengthening our forces. Understanding the significance and honoring the women that have come before us is what made this flight so important.”
Lt. Cmdr. Jauren Jelinek, VRC-30’s training officer, explained the flight paid homage to the history of a time-tested naval aircraft while looking towards a bright future of women in Naval Aviation.
“This flight was our opportunity to honor Women’s History Month by utilizing the female staff we have to put together an all-female crew to mark our place in the history of Naval Aviation,” Jelinek said. “This flight signifies that the portion of women in Naval Aviation is growing, and there are people out here that look like us. When you see someone that looks like you succeeding and doing this job, it makes you want to do this job.”