FOR RELEASE: Thursday, May 25, 2023
CONTACT: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chance Johnson, 720-847-9435, email@example.com
BUCKLEY SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. – The 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard hosted the Sisters of the Skies annual outreach event, Girls Rock Wings, at Buckley Space Force Base, Aurora, Colorado, May 20, 2023.
SOS is an organization of professional Black female pilots who are committed to supporting future Black aviators through mentorship, professional development, outreach, and scholarship.
“We’re extremely fortunate to host Sisters of the Skies during their annual Girls Rock Wings event,” 140th Wing Commander U.S. Air Force Col. Jeremiah “Weed” Tucker said. “The 140th Wing is enthusiastic to help make young women of diverse backgrounds aware of how many amazing opportunities are available to them as future career paths. Even if aviation isn’t what they ultimately pursue, we all need to instill in these young ladies that the sky is the limit when it comes to their dreams. We, as members and stewards of the community, are proud to be a part of helping to make that dream a reality.”
120th Fighter Squadron Pilot U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Rob “VooDoo” Bielanski, 140th Wing organized the event and made it possible for over 50 females aged 10-18, with an interest in the field of aviation, to tour static aircraft, meet with pilots, and learn about military aviation.
Angel Hughes, SOS board member, former U.S. Coast Guard pilot and current cargo pilot for United Parcel Service Airlines, said the mission of Sisters of the Skies is to increase the number of Black and minority pilots.
“Right now, the aviation industry is 95 percent male,” Hughes said. “So, we’re out here showing young women that they too can become pilots. We believe that if you can see it, you can achieve it. They’re surrounded by not only their peers, but our SOS members who are mentors. We want to see these young ladies follow in our footsteps. They don’t have to become pilots, but just knowing that they have a positive role model, they can do anything they want because if a girl can become a pilot, the sky’s the limit.”
The tour included a meet-and-greet with the first female adjutant general of Colorado U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Laura Clellan and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. (Ret.) Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell, the first Black female pilot in U.S. Air Force history, and a trip to the top of the 140th Operations Squadron air traffic control tower.
Pilots from several military components answered questions and took photos next to their static aircraft.