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Military & Veterans' Issues

Lieutenant Makes History In Kingsville As First Black Female Tactical Pilot

Lt. Madeline Swegle made history when she completed the Tactical Air Strike aviator syllabus: She's the first Black woman to do so.
U.S. Navy photo by Lt.j.g. Luke Redito
Lt. Madeline Swegle made history when she completed the Tactical Air Strike aviator syllabus: She's the first Black woman to do so.

Last week, Lt. Madeline Swegle made history. After training and completing the Tactical Air Strike aviator syllabus, Swegle became the first Black woman to become a tactical Navy pilot.

Swegle’s training took place in the VT-21 program at Kingsville Naval Air Station. Once a Naval aviator completes the tactical syllabus, they typically move into the FA-18 Super Hornet or the F-35 Lightning. The aircraft used in Swegle’s training — the T-45C — is a two-seat, single engine fighter jet, with a maximum speed of 625 miles per hour.

Swegle’s accomplishment first garnered praise after her friend tweeted about it.
 

The tweet shows Swegle standing in front of the T-45C trainer jet. Along with being the Navy’s first known Black femaleTACAIR pilot, Swegle will also receive her Wings of Gold later this month.
 

Jerry Clayton can be reached at jerry@tpr.org.

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