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South Dakota woman takes part in historic all-female flight

The all-female aircrew pose for a photo Jan. 22, 2021, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado....
The all-female aircrew pose for a photo Jan. 22, 2021, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. This was the first the KC-46 Pegasus mission that consisted entirely of women.(United States Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nilsa Garcia)
Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 3:06 PM CST
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MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (Dakota News Now) - A South Dakota woman is among the 14 Airmen to take part in the first all-female flight on a KC-46A aircraft in U.S. Air Force history.

Capt. Kristi Miner of Colome served on the Jan. 22 flight, according to a press release from the Air Force.

Military officials say the crew flew from McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado to support an initiative to increase the number of women and minorities who join the Air Force.

“It is incredibly humbling to get to work with such amazing ladies. Getting 14 women on an airplane to share our love of flying and aviation with future Air Force officers was an experience that we’re all very proud of,” said Miner, who serves as the 22nd Air Refueling Wing executive officer.

The team sought to break down cultural and personal barriers female cadets face when competing for pilot training slots. The pilots and maintenance on the flight had the opportunity to speak to cadets during a Women in Aviation question and answer panel.

As of October 2020, only about 838 women in the Air Force served as pilots, according to Air Force Personnel Center officials.

The KC-46 Pegasus is an aerial refueling and transportation aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner. Officials say this flight marked the first time this model of plane was piloted by an all-female crew.

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