In 1973, the first eight female sailors started the Navy's flight school at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. One year later, six of the eight women earned their Naval Aviator insignias, Wings of Gold. "The First Six," as they came to be known, blazed the trail for the female sailors that followed them into the sky. To celebrate 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy, the Super Bowl LVII flyover will be conducted by an all-female team.
The Navy notes that this is the first time in history that the Super Bowl flyover team consists entirely of women. One of those women is Lt. Katie Martinez, a Naval Flight Officer assigned to the "Flying Eagles" of Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA-122). "It’s not a feeling I can even put into words," Martinez said in a Navy Public Affairs release. "It doesn’t get bigger than the Super Bowl, and I am humbled and honored to be able to participate with my friends and fellow Naval Aviators as part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
VFA-122 is contributing two F/A-18F Super Hornets to the formation. They will be joined by an F-35C Lightning II from the "Argonauts" of VFA-147 and an EA-18G Growler from the "Vikings" of Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129). The strike fighters are based out of NAS Lemoore, California while VAQ-129 is based out of NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. All aircraft will stage at and fly from Luke Air Force Base, Arizona for their historic flight over State Farm Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday.
Feature Image: The Navy's Blue Angels fly over Super Bowl 50 (U.S. Army photo)