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Yokota hosts ‘Fly Girls’ event; inspires next generation of aviators

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alexzandra Gracey
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Approximately 100 middle and high school students gathered near the Yokota flightline to attend ‘Fly Girl’s, an annual Women’s History Month aviation event, March 8.

“Fly Girls is an event to celebrate the continued contribution of women in aviation,” said Capt. Casey Guardia, 459th Airlift Squadron UH-1N helicopter pilot. “It’s an event where we can welcome the youth from the community and share in our passion for aviation.”

The 374th Operations Group partnered with members from Misawa Air Base and Komaki Air Base to teach students about the contributions women have made, and continue to make, in aviation.

“Events like these give the younger generation something to be inspired by,” said Airman 1st Class Reina Terrazas, 374th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician. “We’re able to show what we do for our job. This gets them thinking about whether they want to do something similar with their future.”

Throughout the day, participating students were given the opportunity to learn about different aviation career fields and tour aircrafts, which included an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base. Additionally, participants were able to fly alongside a mostly female aircrew on either a C-130J Super Hercules, C-12 Huron, or UH-1N Helicopter.

Both U.S. and Japanese aircrew spent the day meeting with the younger generation and contributing their experiences and insights into all that goes into being a female aviator.

“We are here because we want to share our passion about what we do,” said Lt. Col. Kira Coffey, 36th AS commander. “Whether we fly, fix, or support planes, it’s something that we love and we hope to inspire everyone.”