Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Meets with First Woman RPA (drone) Pilot as Part of the Air Force’s 70th Birthday Celebration

September 15, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC –This week, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Davis, Yuba City, CA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, met with two of the Air Force’s new enlisted pilots stationed at Beale Air Force Base. They included Technical Sergeant Courtney, a native of Vacaville, who is the first ever female enlisted Airman to qualify as a pilot.

“It was an honor to meet Master Sergeant Alexander and Technical Sergeant Courtney to congratulate them on their extraordinary accomplishments.” said Garamendi. “It was a particular joy to meet TSgt. Courtney, the first female enlisted pilot in Air Force history. These Airmen embody the dedication and professionalism of the United States Air Force, and are an inspiration to our community and the whole country. As we celebrate the 70th birthday of the Air Force, these Airmen are a great example of the service continuing to break barriers.”

In 2015, the Air Force announced it would begin training enlisted personnel to operate remotely piloted aircraft, beginning with the RQ-4 Global Hawk. TSgt. Courtney is part of the first enlisted class to complete the Undergraduate Remotely Piloted Aircraft Training program. (Due to standard Air Force security protocols, these RPA pilots may only be identified by their first names.)