The 133rd Airlift Wing in St. Paul, Minn., has its first-ever female instructor pilot. Maj. Dana Novinskie earned her private pilot’s license while studying engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, then went into specialized undergraduate pilot training in 2004, according to a press release. She qualified in the C-130 in 2007, and has deployed multiple times, flying missions in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn. She has flown more than 670 combat and combat support sorties. Novinskie transferred to the Minnesota ANG in 2012 and was selected to attend C-130 instructor pilot training. She became the wing’s first female instructor pilot this year. Novinksie said she believes airmen should “be judged on performance, and not on our race, gender, or sexual orientation. None of that matters.” She said she is “just glad we’ve arrived at a time in history where that’s possible.”
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.