U.S. Air Force & RJAF Female Aviators Partner in Excellence
By Capt. Monique Roux, Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central)
The U.S. and Royal Jordanian Air Forces are partnering to celebrate women in aviation.
This partnership, launched in September 2021 between the U.S. Air Force and RJAF, focuses on empowering women in aviation as a way to cultivate and strengthen relationships.
“We bring together U.S. and Jordanian female pilots to talk about shared goals in their chosen profession,” said Lt. Col. Alden Gilroy, U.S. Embassy Amman air attaché and chief of attaché operations. “These engagements have been very meaningful and greatly enhance the vital relationship between our two air forces, most especially as it relates to this very important partner nation program.”
For the RJAF, these are the first women aviators who are growing into their roles as leaders.
“This program is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the U.S. and RJAF commitment to supporting female aviators,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Pruitt, 26th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron commander, and HC-130J pilot. “The RJAF women are trailblazers and they are paving the way for future female aviators. It was an honor to meet them.”
Since their first meeting in the fall of 2021, these pioneers in female aviation have met on several occasions allowing the women to engage in team-building and demonstrate their capabilities in the world of aviation.
“The female Jordanians are wonderful hosts,” said Capt. McKenna Hall, 26th ERQS HC-130J mission pilot. “Their professionalism, drive, and focused attitudes are wholeheartedly appreciated and admired. The RJAF fosters a wonderful environment for learning from each other’s militaries.”
The RJAF hosted an event in March highlighting their combat search and rescue capabilities. The engagement included a mission brief, CSAR exercise demonstration, static aircraft immersion tour, and group lunch. The day-long event provided an opportunity for women from both militaries to build camaraderie, share career stories and encourage one another.
“The CSAR demonstration truly showcased the RJAF level of sophistication in aviation,” said Pruitt. “It is obvious how much the pilots love to fly and want to excel in their profession.”
Pruitt and her squadron returned the honor by hosting the RJAF female pilots several weeks later for a unique opportunity to fly a low-level HC-130J mission over outlying areas in the region.
“This experience was the first time I have ever seen that part of our country from an aircraft,” said Lt. Sana’a Alnsour, RJAF Unified Helicopter Command Squadron 8 UH-60 Black Hawk pilot.
Inspiring and empowering women in aviation is a shared goal for the U.S. and Jordanian Air Forces and this program offers unique opportunities to encourage excellence in their female aviators.
“Working with the U.S. female pilots is good for us,” said Alnsour. “We can use experiences like this to inspire a new generation of female RJAF.”
Image by Master Sgt. Kelly Goonan