Minot Air Force Base celebrates women’s history with all-women flight crew

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 8:36 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2023 at 9:46 PM CDT
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MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (KMOT) - Some history made on Minot Air Force Base--in honor of women’s history month, the base launched an all-women flight crew Thursday.

The base has been rotating all-women crews throughout the month of March.

Your News Leader headed to the base to speak with some of the airmen, and learn about their experience in the Air Force.

According to military one source, as of 2021, one-fifth of Air Force members are women.

A1C Erin Corley’s sister had the job so Erin decided to follow in her footsteps. Corley said she wanted to do something bigger and fly while serving.

“I feel like you should really come into career fields, whether they’re male dominated or not,” said Corley.

A1C Tia Richard flew into the field because a family member was in it. As with most jobs, she said had challenges. She said some of the newer recruits challenged her without respect to her work.

“My leadership does a pretty good job. I would say with me personally, when I have brought things up, they have gone out of their way to help me with it,” said Richard.

Corley said while she was training in Texas, Washington, and other states, she noticed variation in how she was spoken to, as if with kid gloves.

“I think they think with females, that we tend to be more emotional. You can’t say that to us, and I saw a lot of that,” said Corley.

Lt. Col. Amanda Filiowich joined the military in 2004 and although women hold leadership positions at the base, she’s currently the only female commander.

“I’m confident now I know how to get along with a variety of different people, but it started from a place of not being like everybody else,” said Filiowich.

She said when she started out, the force wouldn’t have been able to cycle female crews all month, because there weren’t enough women in the field.

Capt. Kristen Allen said a major focus currently in the Air Force is female fitment.

“We’ve been working on getting helmets that fit a little bit better, flight suits that fit better, all kinds of things and we’re making strides,” said Allen.

Lt. Col. Filiowich said there’s still work to do, but the force has come a long way.

“That’s not a knock-on men or anything. It’s not a knock on where we come from or what we believe or anything. It’s just that was the culture that surrounded me at the time,” said Filiowich.

All four women said they’ve had family in the military and that influenced their decision to join.

Lt. Col. Filiowich also mentioned the force is looking to increase women in career fields and leadership positions.