This is madness. Is the US Air Force stretched so thin that they don’t have enough pilots to cover the hot air balloons and flyovers? And does it somehow even break down into the number of qualified male drivers? Cue Flashback: Army Lets Off Pilots Who Refuse to Vaccinate!
There have been two recent violations of US airspace, and the Navy has its priorities where you might expect them to be after the incidents. By making sure the Super Bowl has woken up.
The Navy quietly got rid of a group of Airmen who were set to fly over Super Bowl LVII and replaced them with an all-female group of Airmen, Military.com reported.
When the Navy first said it would make the Super Bowl move, it was in a much more humble press release issued on January 27, 2023. It featured a lineup of 15 Airmen, only three of whom were women and all of them . flight officers, not pilots.
Although this plan did not include major TV spots, the service released the names of the pilots and a set of “chromes” with their photos in its image database. Navy-focused outlets like USNI News reported on the schedule at the time.
There were also posts on many of the Navy’s social media pages.
While most of those posts have since disappeared, a handful remain, with comments pointing out the lack of women at an event meant to commemorate them.
But on “Good Morning America” Thursday, the Navy announced it would honor five decades of women flying with an all-female crew.
“It was surreal,” Navy Lt. Catie Perkowski told the show.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Navy Lt. Suzelle Thomas when she learned she would be one of the pilots.
“My dad asked me to call him from the sidelines at the Super Bowl,” Perkowski said. “But for me as a football fan, when I got the call to make the Super Bowl step, it’s almost like a dream at first for someone who loves the NFL.”
He said the Navy, nor his fellow pilots, makes a distinction based on his gender.
“What it comes down to is we’ve trained to do this job together,” the pilot said. “I didn’t join the Navy to be a fighter pilot. I joined the Navy fighter pilot, so there’s no difference to me.”
Perkowski said she will also honor the men who serve with her.
“There are also men and women with whom we serve every day. They work on my jet. They’re the ones that make sure I’m able to fly,” he said. “So to be able to bring them with us, it’s really exciting.”
“To commemorate 50 years of women flying in the US Navy, the service will conduct a flyover of State Farm Stadium during the national anthem with female Airmen as part of the formation. The formation will consist of an F-35C Lightning II of the ‘Warhawks’ of the VFA-97 Attack Fighter Squadron, two F/A-18F Super Hornets of the ‘Flying Eagles’ of the VFA-122 and an EA18G Growler of the ‘Vikings’ of the Squadron of electronic attack,” the Navy said in a press release.
And as the Navy focuses on celebrating women at the Super Bowl on Friday, an unidentified flying object was shot out of the sky over Alaska.
“On February 9, the North American Aerospace Defense Command detected an object on ground-based radar and investigated and identified the object with fighter aircraft. The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and posed a threat reasonable for the safety of civilian flight,” explained Pentagon spokesman Brig. said General Pat Ryder.
“U.S. Northern Command is now beginning recovery operations. U.S. Northern Command’s Alaska Command coordinated the operation, with assistance from the Alaska Air National Guard, the Federal Administration of ‘Aviation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,’ he said.
“At this time we have no further details about the object, including any description of its capabilities, purpose or origin. The object was about the size of a small car, so it did not resemble in size or shape the high-altitude surveillance balloon that crashed off the coast of South Carolina on February 4,” he said.