The three female pilots, who were dubbed the “first female red mufflers” for becoming the first South Korean women to enter the Air Force Academy, have become the first female battalion commanders.
They are Lt. Col. Pyeon Bo-ra of the 3rd Flying Training Wing, Lt. Col. Jang Se-jin of the 5th Air Mobility Wing, and Lt. Col. Park Ji-yeon of the 16th Fighter Wing, according to the Air Force on Tuesday. Jang was inaugurated as battalion commander on Tuesday while the other two are expecting an inauguration within this month.
A flight battalion commander is a commander, who is in charge of operations and drills at a battalion and trains junior pilots. The air force operations command (AFOC) selects battalion commanders based on their capabilities and qualifications as a leader.
The three are the first female cadets, who joined the Air Force Academy in 1997, and have become battalion commanders 17 years after they completed the advanced flight training course in 2002. Lt. Col. Pyeon became the first South Korean female fighter pilot in 2003 and has flied A-37 attack aircrafts. She became the first woman to compete in the Boramae Midair Shooting Competition in 2007 and won the grand prize in the low-altitude shooting category. Pyeon became the first female flight instructor in 2007. She mainly flies domestic trainer aircraft KT-1 and has a total flight time of 1,440 hours. “I’ll do my best to be a battalion commander, who works with my battalion members to fulfill our goal to defend the national airspace,” said Pyeon.
Lt. Col. Jang became the first female transport plane pilot in 2002 and has flied CN-235 transport plane. She has a total flight time of 2,600 hours. In 2010, she became the first female pilot in the Air Force to become an instructor pilot (IP). She became the first woman in the Air Force to win the grand prize in the airdrop category at the 2017 Boramae Midair Shooting Competition. Jang also became the first woman in the Air Force to become a group captain in 2016. “I’ll keepin mind the impact my actions will have on the future of my fellow pilots,” said Jang.
Lt. Col. Park became the first female fighter pilot in 2003 with Lt. Col. Pyeon. Having been flied F-5 fighter jets, Park became the first female flight leader in 2007. She mainly flies domestic fighter jet FA-50 and has a total flight time of 1,800 hours. “I’ll always stay humble and give my best in doing my job as well as taking care of people around me,” said Park.
Hyo-Ju Son firstname.lastname@example.org