Air Force changes policy, says pregnant women can fly all aircraft

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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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3 thoughts on “Air Force changes policy, says pregnant women can fly all aircraft

  1. I do not fully support this. As one person already mentioned, what about the G forces on a developing baby? Area restriction for the mother as she grows as the baby gets bigger (in other words, can she fit into the cockpit without harming herself or the baby).

    True, flying the drones or cargo/passenger planes will be easier than flying a fighter while pregnant but I am cautious, because do we really know the effect on the baby from high G levels?

    The flight suit compresses the legs and abdominal area to keep blood to the brain in G turns and negative G maneuvers, would this also rob blood from the baby or compress the baby?

    So basically, are these women being used as lab rats to find this information out?

  2. I like the video. If we’re going to let pregnant women fly, we have to support them with the right equipment, as the captain stated.
    Also, as Johnny said, this should not be an experiment. Physiologists should already have looked at the effects of flying, including fighter G-suits, on aircrew. There should already be medical guidance on what’s OK. Do I trust that the AF has already done their homework on this? Not totally.

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