After 110 Years, US gets first African-American female pilot fighter
London, July 12, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Madeline Swegle of American Navy has graduated as the first ever first African-American female strike pilot fighter
It comes after a centenary of aviation, precisely 110 years, a black American lady, Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle has broken the record to become first Black female tactical jet pilot in the U.S. Navy
Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle recently completed the service’s Tactical Air (Strike) training program in the T-45C Goshawk, the Navy announced Friday.
The milestone makes Swegle, a Naval Academy graduate, the first known Black woman who has been certified for the TACAIR mission, and she could go on to fly fighters such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler or F-35C Joint Strike Fighter.
The Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) congratulated Swegle on her achievement via Twitter.
She will receive her Wings of Gold on July 31, according to Naval Air Training Command.
Swegle first graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017, according to Stars and Stripes.
She completed her tactical air pilot training syllabus at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, this week, qualifying her to fly F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, among others.
Rosemary Mariner was the first woman in the Navy to fly tactical jets in 1974 as well as the first to command an operational naval aviation squadron, Stars and Stripes noted.
Swegle’s achievement comes as pilots have said the Navy’s aviation community needs more diversity in its ranks.
A 2018 investigation by Military.com revealed that Black pilots are rare in the service, particularly in fighter units.
According to Navy data provided that year, just 1.9% of all pilots assigned to the F/A-18 Hornet, EA-18 Growler, E-2 Hawkeye and C-2 Greyhound were Black.
Women also make up a small percentage of aviators in the service.
As of 2018, the Navy had 765 female pilots, less than 7% of all pilots across the ranks, according to the Pensacola News Journa