“Our (aircraft) was a 1962 model. (It) came off the line when women weren’t accepted as C-130 aircrew, let alone in combat,” said Sergeant Harshe.
After the excitement of this all-female C-130 crew flying the first combat mission together wore off, they focused on what really mattered.
“(What matters is) knowing we’re making a difference and seeing it with every mission we fly,“ said Airman Alonzo. "(It's also) moving troops into the theater where they’re needed, seeing the excitement and relief on the faces of the guys and gals we take out of theater who have been there for six months to a year and are on their way home to their loved ones."
During the mission, the crew transported 151 Marines and their equipment.
Another thing they all agreed upon, the mission was a true experience.
“It was a fun thing to be able to say you did, if only once. Not that it is better, this was just different, and probably won’t happen for us again anytime soon just because of the sheer numbers,” said Sergeant Harshe.
Captain Mitchell said one additional benefit of this all female flight was gaining a different perspective.
“One way to avoid (complacency) is to mix the crews up a little, fly with some different people to get a different perspective,” she said. “And what better way to mix the crews up than by putting all the girls on the same crew?”
While the all-female crew did accomplish a unique milestone together, they point out that the significance of their mission success is that every crewmember achieved personal goals to get there.
“I encourage any girl or woman to do what she wants. Too often I hear people say they can’t do something (but it is) because they don’t realize they have the opportunity,” Captain Mack said. “I would tell any person flying is an attainable goal for anyone who wants to work for it. As they say, you are only limited in what you can do by what you can dream.”