Navy Women In Aviation 2010 Pioneer Hall Of Fame <


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Navy Women In Aviation 2010 Pioneer Hall Of Fame

By S. Williams

March 3, 2010 - With three Navy admirals in attendance and two Navy officers inducted into this year's WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame, the admirals in attendance sent a strong message that diversity allows for a greater and more versatile workforce. Navy women were out in force at this year’s 21st Annual Women in Aviation International (WAI) Conference held on Saturday in Orlando, Florida. 

Rear Adm. Wendi Carpenter, Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command, is one of those leaders who believe that Navy leadership is on the right track with diversity. 

"Look across the spectrum of opportunities that women have been offered in the Navy as well as the diversity that has been embraced by our senior leaders at the three and four star level," said Carpenter. "I think all of our four star commanders are really trying to educate people on diversity and make them understand that it's not just a strategic imperative, it is something that is a wise business decision because you just get better answers and better alternatives by having more people in your workforce besides one size fits all." 

Rear Adm. Margaret DeLuca Klein, Director of Operations, Naval Network Warfare Command, was one of the keynote speakers for the conference and said she also agreed that diversity in the Navy has come a long way and it is still getting better. "The Navy is really pushing to open up submarines to females," said Klein. "The opportunities really are limitless." 

Trish Beckman   Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann  
Vice Admiral Vivien Crea   Alice du Pont Mills  
  Navy women are involved in many areas of aviation including the space program. U.S. Naval Reserve Capt. Kathy Sullivan was inducted into the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame Sept. 27 for her accomplishments in aviation. Kathy Sullivan was a member of the first Space Shuttle astronaut class and the first American woman to walk in space. She is a veteran of three space shuttle missions, logging more than 530 hours in space.

She is a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve, as well as a private pilot who flies and owns a Super Decathlon. In 1993, she served as chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where she oversaw the agency's $500 million research and technology portfolio and represented the U.S. in many international scientific forums. In 2006, she was named the first director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. 
Kathy Sullivan  

"Any honor that is nominated, and voted on by peers, that's really pretty special," said Sullivan. "These awards are not given away lightly and they are not honors that can be politicked or bought. If you look across the room at the aviation talent from the business side to the flight side, and at the people who have gone before us, it's really something to have their vote of confidence and really quite something to join their company," said Sullivan. 

Cmdr. Trish Beckman USN (Ret.) was also inducted into the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame. Trish Beckman retired from the United States Navy after serving 28 years. She is the first woman to qualify as a crewmember in the F-15E program and the first American woman to qualify as a crewmember in the F.A-18D. As a Naval Flight Officer, she flew in 67 types of aircraft. She helped influence the United States Senate to repeal combat exclusion laws and change executive branch policy, allowing women to fly aircraft engaged in combat missions. Currently, Beckman flies for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group in Seattle and has more than 5,000 flight hours in 71 total aircraft types. Beckman is a founding board member and current board member of Women in Aviation, International. 

Vice Admiral Vivien Crea inducted into the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame. Vice Admiral Vivien Crea is the most senior ranking woman in the history of the United States Coast Guard whose career consisted of the following "firsts:" first female Aircraft Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard; first female Military Aide to the President; first female to Command a U.S.C.G. Air Station; first female Executive Assistant to the Commandant of the Coast Guard; first female selected as Rear Admiral in the U.S. Coast Guard; first female appointed as Vice Admiral and first female of any Military Service to be appointed Second in Command of the military force. In addition, she is the first female to be awarded the Coast Guard's Ancient Albatross which honors the Coast Guard aviator on active duty who has held that designation for the longest time. 

Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann inducted into the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame, Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann is the chief training pilot for The Boeing Company for the almost 700 instructor pilots globally delivering training for initial typeratings as well as recurrent training. She was the first woman to captain a 747-400, the first woman to captain a 777, and the first woman test pilot employed by Boeing in both production and experimental flight test. She broke the distance record in the greater than 661,000 pound weight class, when she and her crew flew a 777-200LR from Hong Kong to London. She is an active mentor spanning two more generations of women test pilots, with six other women currently in her department. 

Alice du Pont Mills inducted into the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame, Alice du Pont Mills received her pilot's license in 1929 at the age of 18. The following year, she received her instrument rating, and logged numerous hours shuttling her father between Cape Cod and Wilmington. In 1934, she and her brother Richard flew their Waco outfitted with pontoons, to South America and 60 miles up the Amazon River, and as far south as Rio de Janeiro logging more than 1000 hours in their Waco. During World War II, du Pont Mills taught instrument flying to Navy airmen, and also to women ferry pilots at Newcastle, Del. 

Nearly 3,000 people attended this year's conference from all aviation walks of life. All branches of military service were represented as well as many corporate officials from various airlines and other aviation organizations. International attendees represented 20 different countries. 

All of the Navy leadership attending the conference agreed that across the board in our armed forces, diversity is on the right path. They also agreed that the WAI conference is a great way to network and problem solve issues within the aviation community in addition to showing the world their progress in diversity. 

WAI was able to award approximately $678,300 in scholarships to WAI members of all ages to be used for everything from flight training to mechanics.

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