NATO Conducts First All-Female Command and Control Mission

A NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) mission has been completed for the first time with an all-female crew.

The 22-member sortie consisted of servicewomen from eight NATO allies: Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and the US.

The routine mission was conducted under NATO’s enhanced Vigilance Activities initiative to enhance the alliance’s deployment of multinational battle groups to bolster its defenses.

It was organized by the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force Women’s Initiative Team to highlight women’s achievements in aviation and gender equality and inclusion in the field.

Women in NATO

Aircrew Training Squadron Simulator Operations Chief Captain Ciara stated that the crew demonstrated that women can perform in male-dominated missions in an equal capacity.

“The flight demonstrates that the mission and every position on board the AWACS can be executed by women,” she said.

NATO reported that the number of women in its armed forces has more than doubled since 1998, incorporating gender perspectives in defense strategies and counterterrorism missions.

The alliance also established the Women, Peace, and Security agenda in 2000 to acknowledge “the disproportionate impact that conflict has on women and girls, the vital roles women play in peace and security, and the importance of incorporating gender perspectives in all that the Alliance does.”

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