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Friday, May 24, 2024

The Navy Quietly Reshuffled The Super Bowl Flyover Team to All-Female Aviators

'The whole focus for us is to really put out a lineup that helps us reinforce the message that we are commemorating the women that are serving in naval aviation...'

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) The U.S. Navy pushed out the original team of aviators for the annual Super Bowl flyover, instead replacing them with an all-female group of flyers.

The final roster will feature 11 female pilots and flight officers. Seven of the pilots will perform the opening ceremony. According to the Daily Caller, The purported reason for the sudden change was to more adequately celebrate the 50th anniversary of women being allowed to fly in the Navy’s aviation program.

“The flyover also commemorates 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy. In 1973 the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola, Fla., and one year later six of those eight women, titled “The First Six,” earned their Wings of Gold,” a press release regarding the change stated. “Since then, women have served, operated and led at every level of Naval Aviation.”

The original group of 15 officers had three women on the team, and received several angry responses on social media for the lack of diversity in a lineup put together to honor female navy pilots.

A formal plan was released on social media for the new lineup, detailing positions for the flyers as well as a description of the aircrafts.

To commemorate 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy, the service will conduct a flyover of State Farm Stadium during the national anthem with female aviators as part of the formation,” the document says. The plan also details the biographies of the flyers, standby pilots and ground crew follow, sorted by gender.

A spokesperson for the Naval Air Force said the initial team was “released before [they] had settled on the final lineup.”

The intent of this year’s flyover was always to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the female Navy flyers; however, the small number of female aviators made the process more difficult.

“There are several challenges involved in gathering aviators from several different squadrons, and with women as 20% of the population in the Navy, it makes it harder,” Cmdr. Zach Harrell said.

“The whole focus for us is to really put out a lineup that helps us reinforce the message that we are commemorating the women that are serving in naval aviation,” he continued.

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