Torch Athena lights the way for female Airmen across AETC Published Sept. 8, 2023 By Airman 1st Class Katelynn Jackson 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz.-- Members of the Air Education and Training Command's initiative, Torch Athena, will have a rally and fly-in ceremony at San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 19 - 21, 2023. The event's objectives are to foster camaraderie and identify, important issues that Torch Athena participants intend to solve as a collective. U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. McKenzie King, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment non-commissioned officer and Torch Athena lead volunteer coordinator, said programs like Torch Athena highlight how diversity can improve efficiency and innovation in the Air Force. “Regardless of rank, age, or appearance, everyone has something to learn from others,” King said. “This event offers fresh perspectives for women as well as minorities throughout the branch to connect and celebrate diversity of thought.” During the initial two days of the three-day event, there will be presentations, speaker panels, and working groups for officer, enlisted, and civilian guests from across AETC. The third day will conclude with a fly-in and Girls in Aviation commemoration. Other major commands have launched Athena initiatives, notably Sword Athena under Air Combat Command and Reach Athena under Air Mobility Command. Sword Athena is devoted to promoting policy change that has an immediate impact on readiness and Reach Athena highlights stories of female Airmen and their families. Torch Athena will add to these initiatives with a focus on empowerment through education advancement. Since the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed in 1948, women have had a significant impact on Air Force history as leaders in airpower, innovation, and expertise. The contributions of women continue to benefit our military with a force that is reflective of our nation. Initiatives like Torch Athena not only celebrate women’s past achievements in the Air Force, but also foster an environment that empowers women to continue to innovate history.