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Establishing Women with Wings

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexis Suarez
  • Air Force Recruiting Services Detachment 1

Air Force Recruiting Service (AFRS) Detachment 1 along-side Gold Bar Recruiters and Aviation Inspiration Mentors (AIM) participated in the Women in Aviation International conference held in Orlando, FL during March 21-23, 2024.

The WAI conference was a three-day event held for women and young girls to share their enthusiasm and network with others who share the same passion for the aviation industry.

“I enjoyed being among a diverse field of aviation enthusiast from young to seasoned,” said Technical Sgt. Anastacia Rodriguez, Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Programs and Resources, Isochronal Inspections Support Section, 6th Maintenance Squadron and AIM mentor. “I gained so much insight and knowledge on what barriers others may be experiencing good and bad.”

“Attending the WAI conference was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my Air Force career,” said 2nd Lt. Ella Skinkis, Gold Bar Recruiter. “Being surrounded by incredible women, I found not only inspiration and mentorship, but the energy I needed to pursue my career in aviation.”

With March being Women’s History Month it was essential to have an exhibitor booth at the WAI conference.  AFRS Det 1 provided a virtual reality flight simulator for attendees to practice their flight skills on a fighter jet, along with Air Force swag and ample amounts of knowledge to share.

“Having the presence of the U.S. Air Force was proven critical due to the amount of engagement we had during and even after the event,” said Rodriguez. “We are here to inspire not only the next generation but current as well. When women see other women doing amazingly hard things they get inspired, our goal is to build a safe, strong and diverse industry to thrive in this new dynamic aviation world.”

The diversity amongst the AIM mentors alone made it possible to reach a wide range of different types of aviation enthusiast, from air traffic controllers, maintenance, to pilots of all varieties. Along with the general booth in the exhibitor hall, AFRS Det 1 held education sessions available to attendees. Aviation takes a team to make flight possible. The goal is to inspire the next generation, increase diversity, and attract the best talent for our Air and Space Forces.