FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. – --
Team Fairchild Airmen conducted a diversity and inclusion flight in honor of Black History Month, Feb. 18, 2021. The mission refueled F-16C Fighting Falcons from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Due to limited diversity in the Air Force’s aviation community, the flight was important as it showcased diversity in the Air Force and embodied the importance of minority representation.
“The intent of the flight was to elevate minority representation in the aviation community,” said 1st Lt. Brayden Hill, 384th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker pilot. “Black pilots only make up 2% of all Air Force pilots, which is something we need to work on.”
Looking forward to the future make-up of the Air Force’s aviation community, the goal is to encourage and inspire minority groups by insuring they see themselves represented in the career fields they aspire to be in.
“You can’t be it if you can’t see it,” Hill said. “We’re all working together and it’s great, but the Air Force is a representation of our country and Black people have been serving since its founding, so I think it’s important that we adequately reflect who we are as a nation.”
There were 12 Airmen on the flight, including three KC-135 pilots, seven KC-135 boom operators, a public affairs Airman and an Airman from the 384th Air Refueling Squadron’s squadron aviation resource management office.
In addition to minority representation and diversity inclusion, the flight provided a chance for young boom operator Airmen to get qualification training and improve mission readiness.
“Staff Sgt. Morgan Henley, the instructor boom operator, really helped with her extensive experience and gave us the opportunity to get quality training in,” said Hill.
Fairchild Airmen successfully accomplished several goals by conducting a flight that was both effective for mission readiness and centralized the importance of representation in the Air Force. Honoring Black history is vital to provide the chance for minority Airmen to see people like them paving the way for diversity and inclusion for future generations.
Fairchild is essential to the rapid global mobility mission and having a diverse set of Airmen allows us to be stronger and accomplish this mission on a more unified front.