December 8, 2016
Written by Lorra B.
Efforts have been underway to recruit females into battlefield airman positions. These roles include combat controllers, tactical air control party (TACP), special operations weathermen and pararescuemen.
Apparently misinformed, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter published a statement Saturday in Meduim.com that a female airman was in training for a TACP role.
The report stated, “Interest in the Air Force’s battlefield airmen career fields has increased, with 18 women attempting initial training. I am proud to say that the first woman has entered training to become a tactical air control party airman.”
According to the U.S. Air Force, however, the last female left the program in July due to an injury.
A spokesperson for Air Combat Command, Andrew J. Schrag, confirmed that the female in question did indeed leave the program due to medical issues and resumed her previous position in Air Force Specialty Code, reported Military.com.
Schrag stated, “At this moment, there are no women currently enrolled.”
Applicants must pass a grueling Physical Ability and Stamina Test before being considered for a role and only a few females were considering the challenge.
The Air Education and Training Command Capt., Jose Davis, stated that only nine women had begun the testing with four withdrawing from the program and five unable to pass.
Davis stated, “When we do get the first woman in the pipeline, she’ll be in the Battlefield Airman Training Group, 37th Training Wing, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. After completion of training in the Battlefield Airman Training Group, Airmen are then sent to their respective AFSCs in various commands.’
“Females are half of our population,” stated Carter. “We’re an all-volunteer force. So, we recruit from the population it makes sense for us to recruit people, from as wide a population as possible.”
There is much speculation on President-elect Donald Trump’s position on the recent female status changes in the military and Carter makes it clear that he believes opening combat positions to women “makes sense.”
Written by Lorra B.