JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --
Detachment 1, the newest addition to Air Force Recruiting Service, recently attended the fourth anniversary of Girls in Aviation Day at Stinson Municipal Airport.
Girls in Aviation Day is a worldwide event that is hosted by Women in Aviation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women in aviation career fields.
‘The Girls in Aviation Day was a great opportunity for our Airmen to share their stories and encourage others to pursue an Air Force or aviation career,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Short, the director of the Aircrew Crisis Task Force at the Pentagon. “Outreach and engagement to the American public is a critical aspect of ensuring we develop the force we need.”
The intent of Girls in Aviation Day is to give girls ages eight through 17 their first look into aviation careers. This program connects to Det. 1’s core mission, which is to inform, influence and inspire tomorrow’s leaders through innovative outreach opportunities. They see events like Girls in Aviation Day as one of many opportunities that the Air Force can have a presence in.
Stinson Municipal Airport hosted this year’s event near Joint Base San Antonio and was one of the few locations that hosted aircraft. Different stations were set up that over 80 girls viewed and interacted with, including a T-6 and a Remotely Piloted Aircraft virtual reality station. Two female instructor pilots from the 12th Flying Training Wing and 559th Flying Training Squadron showed up to speak and interact with the young girls.
“Part of our job at the detachment is to seek initiatives and develop relationships,” Maj. Lindsay Andrew, Detachment 1 director of operations said. “We want to go out to these organizations with amazing programs and take part in them. Programs like these provide a great opportunity for those of us in uniform to show girls that they can do this too.”
In addition to seeing and interacting with aircraft, Girls in Aviation Day also showcased aviation-related fields. These included aerodynamics, crash and rescue, fire and police departments, and air traffic control.
“When young girls see women in aviation career fields, it is encouraging because it is someone similar to them,” 2nd Lt. Caroline, a 12th Training Squadron student and Girls in Aviation virtual reality station volunteer said. “When a young girl sees a woman in a flight suit, sometimes it is easier to project herself into that position. The girls were excited to be there and see so many different career fields.”
The event also appealed to a broader audience, which included the parents, mentors, teachers and counselors of the young girls the event was designed for.
“The presence of leaders and mentors can encourage relationships between schools and the Air Force,” Andrew said.
“Educators have a large impact,” Caroline said. “Students look to their role models, and to have those role models be informed about the opportunities the Air Force provides is a great connection.”
Air Force Recruiting Service Det. 1 officially stood up October 1, 2018 and was tasked with enabling AFRS’ mission success and transformation through innovate operations.
“We will use innovative engagement methods to inform, influence, inspire, and ultimately identify individuals from all segments of society for opportunities to join the world’s greatest airpower team,” Lt. Col. Kenyatta Ruffin, Det. 1 commander said. “To get the Air Force we need, we have to recruit the Air Force we need.”
The Detachment plans on attending several different outreach events in the near future, to include STEM events, aviation events, and visits with Air Force ROTC programs.
Editor's Note: Surnames are withheld for individuals involved with intelligence, surveillance or reconnaissance due to United States Air Force Operational Security Policy.