If you’re flying for the US Air Force and happen to be pregnant, you may not need a waiver to perform your duties.
The new directive claims that pregnant women serving as pilots, remotely piloted aircrews and missile operations duty crews will be monitored, but not barred from performing their duties.
“We recognize that each pregnancy is as unique as our professional female aviators we trust to operate our weapon systems,” Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg, Air Force surgeon general, told Fox News in a statement. “We’re empowering women to work closely with their obstetrician and flight medicine providers to pick a path that is tailored to their individual needs while ensuring we’re doing everything to support them throughout their pregnancy.”
Personnel who are pregnant and not experiencing complications while performing their duty can also change their minds at any time.
At a time when aircrews seem few and far between in the midst of retention woes, the move may seem to be one of desperation- but the USAF claims it is just a way to ensure those female aircrews can do their jobs without being rubber-stamped into a life of light-duty.
“Really what it’s trying to get at is to remove the burden of proof on the pregnant airmen,” said Air Force spokesperson Lynn Kirby. “These airmen are already entrusted to self-identify when they’re not healthy to do their jobs. It’s removing that barrier where you’re automatically assumed to not be healthy to fly because you’re pregnant.”
While given the go-ahead to perform, pregnant Airmen are still banned from combat and deployment duties.
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